COLUSA (CBS13) – Medical devices and unused hospital beds sit in one wing of the Colusa Medical Center. It’s an area that hadn’t been used since the Camp Fire when people came in for temporary shelter.
Now, it’s home to medical equipment labeled “excess equipment” or “unrepairable.” But Ryan Zamudio sees opportunity in a critical and desperate time.
“Every bed out of service right now is a patient not being served, which could also be a life not being saved,” said Zamudio.
An Air Force Reserve Master Sergeant, Zamudio has been on the frontlines. Now he is fighting a war of a different kind.
”We’re up here three or four times a week trying to get this facility ready for what’s to come,” said Zamudio.
When he’s not deployed, Zamudio runs his own business, Veritas Biomedical Services. He’s a biomedical tech who repairs medical equipment. He’s needed now more than ever to bring critical medical devices back into service in rural hospitals like the Colusa Medical Center.
“Anything that delivers oxygen at this point is top on the list. They’re preparing for the influx of patients that could be coming to this small, rural hospital,” said Zamudio.
“It means that we have IV pumps, ventilators and beds, things that are functional that we can provide here in rural health care,” said Colusa Medical Center COO Amy Micheli.
At this point, they can bring in 15 to 20 more patients than usual and they’ve been able to certify three more ventilators. But they’re hardly done.
“The days have never been longer since being in this business, but the need is there and we’re happy to serve,” said Zamudio.
Spoken like a true military member, but on a turf he’s yet to discover.
Zamudio also hired technicians who would otherwise be out of work right now.
It’s all hands on deck and they’re hoping to triple capacity at both Colusa Medical Center and Glenn Medical Center.