Emergency Transport Program

Our History

Transport beginnings

The earliest history of transport at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia can be traced back to the Hospital's financial reports of 1886, which listed "ambulance" as an expense. The reports also noted that the City of Philadelphia donated $375 per year to the hospital for ambulance expenses from 1886 to 1991.

Our first motorized ambulance was purchased in 1919 for $2,011.80. The 1923 Annual Report states, "A new efficient Dodge ambulance was purchased by the Board — something that the hospital was sadly in need of." The vehicle was used to pick up injured children from the streets of Philadelphia.

Ushering in the modern transport era

During the 1960s, Dr. C. Everett Koop obtained a grant for a four-bed neonatal/surgical intensive care unit (ICU) and began transferring patients diagnosed with esophageal atresia using volunteers with cars. In 1972, our modern Emergency Transport Team was officially established, and 35 transports were completed that year.

Transport today

Since then, the team has evolved and is still growing. We are a dedicated program with a referral base that extends regionally, nationally and internationally.

 

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