Volkswagen Group of America announced today that Erlanger Health System will provide onsite medical coverage throughout the construction phase of the company’s production facility.
“The commitment to quality healthcare, the expertise of its healthcare practitioners and its extensive range of services were key factors in our decision to contract with Erlanger,” said Frank Fischer, CEO-designate of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga production facility. “We look forward to working with them over the next two years as the plant is constructed.
“We are delighted to have been selected as VW’s healthcare provider of choice and to have the opportunity to provide their construction team with high quality, onsite medical care,” said Erlanger Health System CEO and President Jim Brexler. “We are partnering with Volkswagen Group of America to integrate Erlanger’s trauma and occupational medicine services into their overall safety program.”
Mr. Brexler said that Erlanger’s primary goal is “to be prepared to handle any medical emergency that might arise on the construction site. Our secondary goal is to promote a speedy return to work in the event of a work-related injury.”
Erlanger will have a nurse and paramedic at the Volkswagen construction site whose hours will mirror those of the construction workforce. The Erlanger medical team will provide heath care services throughout the initial 8- and 12-hour work shifts, as well as when the workplace ramps up to a 24/7 operation. The team will be working closely with Hamilton County EMS officials to facilitate the appropriate response in the event of a medical emergency.
Officials with the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center are also working with Volkswagen safety officers to identify appropriate landing zones on the site for Erlanger’s Life Force air ambulances.
In addition to providing triage and first aid services, Erlanger’s medical team will also be patrolling the construction worksite in four-wheel drive vehicles to update their orientation to the continually changing terrain. This will enable them to respond quickly in the event of an onsite accident and stabilize workers while awaiting the arrival of EMTs.
“Timeliness of response is often the determining factor in a successful medical outcome,” noted Mr. Brexler, adding that “our goal is to work with Volkswagen safety officials to ensure that any workplace injuries are minor in nature and that any injured or sick worker can be treated quickly and efficiently.”