KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Visitors to Bronson’s downtown campus may see something different the next time they are onsite. In efforts to be environmentally friendly and to enhance security, Bronson has begun using Segway® Personal Transporters (PTs).
The Bronson Security Department has purchased two Segway PTs to accompany its current fleet of bicycles and two security vehicles. All of these security vehicles are used 24/7 to patrol Bronson’s 25-acre downtown campus.
Battery powered, the Segway PTs are environmentally friendly in both emissions created and energy consumed. They are 17 times more efficient than Bronson Security’s SUVs. They are also four times more efficient than the leading hybrids and 11 times more efficient than the average American car. Segway PTs drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and substantially increase energy efficiency by replacing short-distance single-occupancy car journeys. Segway PTs get the equivalent of 450 miles per gallon of fuel.
“The Segway PTs are a new way for us to reduce our footprint on the environment, so to speak,” said Dan Kettenbeil, Bronson director for facilities and security. “We currently put around 40,000 miles a year on our security vehicles patrolling our campus. With today’s fuel prices, we are spending over $13,000 annually on gas. So the Segways will have substantial savings for us.”
In addition to the eco-friendly factor, the Segway PTs give Bronson Security faster response times to inquiries and emergencies. The Segway PT can move security staff smoothly and quietly, at two to three times walking speed. It doubles the amount of area a walking security officer can cover, and transitions immediately from walking speed (3 mph) to sprinting speed (12.5 mph).
Finally, the Segway PTs make security officers more approachable than when driving a vehicle or riding a bike. They also make it easier to escort employees and visitors to their vehicles. While riding a Segway, officers can see over the top of people and can be more easily seen when they need their presence felt.
Bronson’s $11,000 investment in the two Segways should quickly pay for itself, according the Kettenbeil. “They cost just pennies per mile to operate and will be used both indoors and outdoors,” said Kettenbeil. “They can also be secured like a bike when not in use.”
The energy efficiencies and savings are another new way Bronson is demonstrating its commitment to the environment. In addition to the eco-friendly Segway PTs, Bronson was inducted into Hospitals for a Healthy Environment’s (H2E’s) Environmental Leadership Circle – a permanent recognition granted to facilities that exemplify environmental excellence in healthcare. Bronson is one of only 19 healthcare facilities in the country to receive this honor. Bronson was also recognized by H2E for the fifth year in a row with its Environmental Leadership Award, the highest award given to healthcare facilities for outstanding environmental performance. H2E is creating a national movement for environmental sustainability in health care. The American Hospital Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Health Care Without Harm, and the American Nurses Association jointly founded H2E.
Bronson has also achieved the ENERGY STAR label from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This distinguishes the hospital as one of the top 12 percent in the nation in terms of energy conservation. In 2006, the Green Guide recognized Bronson as a one of the “Top 10 Green Hospitals in America.”
About Bronson Methodist Hospital
Bronson Methodist Hospital, located at 601 John St. in downtown Kalamazoo, Mich., is the flagship of Bronson Healthcare Group, a not-for-profit healthcare system serving all of southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. With 343 licensed beds and all private rooms, Bronson Methodist Hospital provides care in virtually every specialty—cardiology, orthopedics, surgery, emergency medicine, neurology, oncology—with advanced capabilities in critical care as a Level I Trauma Center; in neurological care as a JCAHO certified Primary Stroke Center; in cardiac care as the region’s only accredited Chest Pain Center; in obstetrics as the leading BirthPlace and only high-risk pregnancy center in southwest Michigan, and in pediatrics as one of only four children's hospitals in the state. The hospital is the recipient of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence, and was named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals for 2005 by Solucient.
Bronson Healthcare Group is one of Kalamazoo’s largest employers. For four consecutive years, it has been ranked by Working Mother magazine and for three straight years by FORTUNE as one of the nation’s 100 best companies to work for. With a workforce of more than 4,100, Bronson makes a significant contribution to the local economy. Annually, Bronson provides more than $48 million in community benefits through outreach and charitable care for the un- and under-insured. Bronson also serves the largest percentage of Medicaid patients of any Michigan hospital outside of the Detroit area.
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