First responders get sneak peek at Tucson's newest trauma center

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A new emergency department at the University Physicians Hospital will help staff take care of more patients more efficiently.

Tuesday first responders got a sneak peak at the new facility on the UPH Kino campus.

Firefighters and EMTs toured the new 33-bed emergency facility that was built to their specifications.

"When EMS comes in they need to be able to get to a room quickly transfer a patient as well as get out and get back on the street doing their job," said UPH Base Hospital Manager Mary McDonald.

"I feel like the layout here at UPH makes the access for EMS a little bit less complicated and more secure because they have the minor, the have the pediatric, the psychs, and trauma all in different areas," said Southwest Ambulance EMT Brittany Ebel.

The new addition is expected to cut wait times and includes nine evaluation rooms and six trauma rooms. There's even a special ER for children.

"A pediatric might be a little bit more stressful than an adult so having access directly to a room, it's a place to go and right away you're going to have a nurse and a doctor right then and there," said Ebel.

This spacious four bed trauma room was dedicated to the crew of three who went down in a medic chopper in July of last year.

"This will be a befitting ending, it will be a living memory for Lifenet 12," said McDonald.

"My first impression was the enormous size of the er and just the way how everything is separated," said South Tucson Fire Dept. Firefighter Israel Martinez.

The new department will open next Wednesday.

UPH has also added two new helipads.  With the additional resources, the hospital can soon apply for Level III trauma designation.