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SPECIAL PICKUP TRUCK BEGINS SERVICE FOR NEONATAL UNIT

A specially outfitted pickup truck for transporting infants to Women and Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was blessed and put in service Wednesday.

Bishop Edward Kmiec of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese offered a blessing during ceremonies at Rural/Metro Medical Services' headquarters in Buffalo. Others present included representatives of the hospital's neonatal emergency transport team, which transferred nearly 300 critically ill and often premature newborns to the hospital last year from other medical facilities in the region.

The vehicle is a 2005 model pickup with an extended cab that has been equipped with two isolettes, weighing more than 350 pounds each, that have monitoring equipment and life-saving devices. It also has a 500-pound lift to move the isolettes.

The vehicle will be stationed outside the front door of the hospital, where it can be pressed into service in seconds.

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