The brainchild of Kerry couple Tony and Mary Heffernan and their Saoirse Foundation, BUMBLEance, the world’s first interactive children’s ambulance service has expanded its operations with the introduction of what is now its latest vehicle – a bespoke Mercedes-Benz Vito van.
The BUMBLEance service was established in 2013 with the goal of creating an Ireland “where the fear and stress of an ambulance journey for a child no longer exists”. Since then, and with the support of Mercedes-Benz, the service has expanded considerably and today provides a range of supports for ill children.
Built on an extra-long body, it becomes the ninth Mercedes-Benz BUMBLEance on the fleet and is finished outside and inside with the same cartoon ‘bumble bee’ imagery. To eliminate stress and create more relaxing surroundings for children, its interior décor and features include all the online and interactive elements it is possible to provide with; wi-fi, audio-visual and child-friendly gizmos that have made the BUMBLEance service so successful.
Inside, its flexible accommodation can be configured according to the needs of the child with space for other family members to accompany them on the journey. Allowing the installation of seating with ISOFIX arrangements, two wheelchair users can be securely transported in the vehicle with the additional capability of fixing a stretcher or an incubator in the future.
Fergus Conheady, Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles sales manager, commented by describing the BUMBLEance as “one of the most worthwhile projects we have ever supported and one which we are proud to have been involved in since its inception”.
Founder of BUMBLEance, Tony Heffernan stated, "the children who need BUMBLEance are thrilled to be transported using the world leading brand, we are very grateful for all the support which we receive from Mercedes-Benz, our long-standing relationship will continue to grow and we look forward to introducing two further new Sprinters in the second half of 2019”.
PHOTO CAPTION: Kerry couple Mary and Tony Heffernan and their bespoke Mercedes-Benz Vito van. Photo: Colm Kerr, ARC studios.