BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — In a year’s time, the transport team at Golisano Children’s Hospital has met a 10-year record in the number of pediatric transports for children in need of critical care.

Golisano’s specialized team and equipment are helping to serve young patients across the state.

The hospital introduced two ambulance units to operations last fall. The transport team has been running since the mid 90s. However, with the hospital’s own resources, more children are being treated on-the-go from Northern New York to the Pennsylvania border, and from Buffalo to Syracuse.

When an emergency call comes in, they’re the first to go out. With two ambulances in service, owned and operated by Golisano Children’s Hospital, the transport team has already conducted nearly 300 routes this year.

Their team, traveling to surrounding regions, to provide emergency care for children in need.

“This really is a mobile ICU. We’re able to provide the care not only in our ICU, but here on transport,” said Dr. Elizabeth Nocera, ICU physician for GCH.

The concept started back in the late 80s, under the direction of Dr. Elise van der Jagt, who helped create a hotline for community hospitals to dispatch local ambulances in response.

“It’s much more efficient. We have an ambulance right here at the hospital. This becomes a lifeline for community hospitals and for the children who are out there. We can bring this ICU care directly to a community hospital,” said Dr. van der Jagt, chief medical officer for regional health operations for GCH.

The transport team reaches each direction of New York State, and is one of the few healthcare facilities to do so statewide.

“They work with us in conjunction, so we collaborate with them. We do outreach with them, and bring in other resources to them,” said Leslie Warren, critical care nurse for GCH.

For specialists on the transport team, they say every day presents its own challenges. They also say the work is rewarding.

“…To know you have a skill that other hospitals are counting on. You can go out and help somebody else’s child that is in need. It makes you feel good at the end of the day,” said Julie Melville, respiratory therapist for GCH.

The transport team is currently fully staffed, but directors say they are actively recruiting nurses and respiratory therapists, and say the training can be extensive.

Officials at Golisano Children’s Hospital also say they hope to soon install telemedicine to the ambulances to enhance connections with patients in the future.