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Mobile medical unit rolls into Devils Lake

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Devils Lake, ND (WDAZ TV) - Normally, when you have a medical emergency, usually you go to the emergency room or call an ambulance. But with this truck the emergency room can come to you.

The state's new mobile medical emergency unit rolled into Devils Lake today and medical professionals got a peek inside.

The 53-foot-long trailer could be the difference between life and death for North Dakotans in need.

Rick Litzinger/Lake Region District Health Unit: “It's essentially an emergency room on wheels.”

The North Dakota department of Health is showing off its new mobile medical unit in Devils Lake, leaving health professionals speechless.

Brooke Kirkeide/ Lake Region District Health Unit: “It kind of takes you buy surprise.”

The trailer is a fully functioning emergency room. just like the one at your local hospital.

Litzinger says it offers, “Emergency critical care. We have a pediatric section. We have x-ray capabilities.”

Ready to be deployed where it's needed most, from natural disasters to large public gatherings.

Litzinger says, “Basically any type of incident that would either cause a lot of patients to come at one time or an incident within the hospital to lessen the bed availability.”

In a largely rural state, the medical unit can go where there's no other medical care. The trailer features two internal power supplies.

Kirkeide says, “It's a huge benefit. We can pull this in. We can set up in about six to seven hours into any community.”

The mobile medical unit is set up to handle eight patients in the event of an emergency,  but in extreme cases, it can hold up to 16 beds to care for people in need.

Litzinger adds, “We are very lucky in North Dakota to have this as an asset.”

They're glad to have it, but health professionals say they hope they never have to send the mobile unit out to a real emergency.

Kirkeide adds, “It's good to have in our back pocket, just in case we do need it.”

The state got the medical unit in May. The mobile medical unit is open to the public for tours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday.

It hasn't been deployed yet, but the crew has been on standby once, for the Sturgis bike rally. North Dakota has agreement with Minnesota and South Dakota to send out the mobile unit in case of out of state emergencies.

Adam Ladwig

Adam Ladwig joined WDAZ as the Devils Lake bureau reporter in January, 2012. Prior to that he reported for KDUH-TV in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Adam has won multiple awards during his time at WDAZ, including an Eric Sevareid award and a Regional Emmy Award as part of team coverage during the search for Anthony Kuznia.  A Colorado native, Adam graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Journalism. He misses the Rocky Mountains, but the kind people of North Dakota more than make up for that. He is thrilled to be in the Lake Region, telling stories that matter. In his spare time, Adam is usually futilely attempting to get in shape, or cheering for his beloved Denver Broncos.