NETS operates a fleet of custom built ambulance vehicles which allow travel to hospitals
throughout New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Our mission is to
bring intensive care staff and equipment to the bedside of
sick or injured babies and children.
Until March 2006, NSW Ambulance assisted NETS by providing drivers and ambulances. Since that time NETS has been fully responsible for road ambulance transport,ensuring that our fleet is able to cope with the ever growing
demands of our community. Having our own emergency vehicles
maintains availability of the regular ambulance fleet to respond to
emergencies outside of hospitals and bring patients rapidly to emergency
departments for medical care.
The NETS'fleet uses a combination of Mercedes Benz 315 CDI and 416 CDI long wheel base, high roof top Sprinters. Traditionally, Sprinters (short and long wheel base) have been used as Ambulances across all state and territory
services within Australia.
These long wheel base vehicles can accommodate both types NETS life support systems; one loading from the rear
like a regular ambulance (infants and children > 5 kg) and the other loading through the onside side sliding
door (newborns and infants up to 6 kg.
This allows NETS to carry life support equipment for a baby
or infant and an older child simultaneously. The flexibility of being able to load either system allows
NETS to have a standard vehicle design and layout without the need for a
specific vehicle design for each of the twodifferent life support systems. This allows for a more
compact and efficient fleet of ambulances. The ambulance can carry on stretcher
adapted to carry an care support system for less sick infants; used for
the return transport service and some nurse-led emergency transfers where
the baby requires immediate transfer for urgent care but is not yet
requiring life support.
Comparatively, NETS ambulances are larger than traditional ambulances in Australia.
This is to allow for additional staff (e.g. for training or particularly
complex cases requiring extra skills) and larger supplies of medical oxygen and medical air. It also provides a guarantee that a child is not separated from their parent during the journey
to hospital, if desired. The extended roof height allows for clinicians to be standing upright when
providing treatment in a stationary vehicle.
The van designs of the ambulances with windows on all sides provides good visual contact with the outside world for clinical teams. This is particularly helpful for
the relatively long distances travelled by NETS teams, who have excellent
forward view and contact with the visual horizon.
NETS ambulances all have a distinctive colour scheme and design (livery) to increase the level of
vehicle safety and further minimise the risk of accident or injury to our staff, patients
or other members of the public. Emergency warning devices (lights and sirens) are also fitted
to operational vehicles to assist in alerting other road users when NETS are attending an emergency
NETS ambulances are registered and operated in the ambulance category. The
vehicles are fitted with:
Two way radio - operating on the Government Radio Network (GRN)
- Vehicle based oxygen driven
- Portable Laerdal electric suction
Medical gases for long range missions; oxygen (4,500L)
and air (4,500L)
Stryker PowerLoad Pro
NETS electric life support trolley
'In Ambulance Vision for Life' - Allowing live streaming from patient compartment
to NETS coordinating nurse and medical consultant
Storage for medical retrieval kits
NETS also operates a small number of rapid response vehicles which can be
utilised in support of ambulance vehicles. These vehicles by senior NETS
staff to support the NETS team during complex missions and are also used to
urgently transport equipment and/or specialist doctors such as surgeons to
perform emergency surgery prior to the NETS team transporting the patient.
Air transport is provided by contractors. Most air missions are by
helicopter or fixed wing (turbine) using companies contracted to the NSW
Ambulance Service. A small number of long distance and international
missions use fixed wing (jet charter), commercial airlines or military