The fundraising campaign #SEVUOIPUOI launched by designer and entrepreneur Elisabetta Franchi to deal with the COVID-19 emergency reached a total of €260,000 on 13 May 2020.


Elisabetta Franchi Onlus and Betty Blue S.p.A. donated the funds to AREU for the purchase of electro-medical equipment - ultrasounds, ventilators, monitoring and data transmission stations – to help outfit a modular healthcare train in collaboration with the Civil Protection Department and Italian State Railways. 

The same equipment is already in operation on advanced emergency vehicles and also used in other operations of MedEvac – Medical Evacuation of 118 Emergency Medical Services. This enables the best possible use of the resources and ensures their ongoing maintenance and optimal operation when the train is inactive.


“With the rapid development of the virus, and the many needs to meet as a result, we asked ourselves how best to donate the funds. During this period of research, I had the good fortune to meet Dr. Alberto Zoli, General Manager of AREU Lombardia (the Lombardy Emergency Service which operates throughout Italy), who presented me with a longsighted project designed to solve immediate and future health problems across Italy, both as regards Phase 2 of the Covid emergency in which we must learn to live with the virus, as well as other emergencies.” (Elisabetta Franchi)


The healthcare train is a mobile hospital that is ready to intervene during this emergency phase of Covid-19 and in the event of other calamities. Similar to an actual field hospital, it is modular and can be set up immediately, and is also equipped with one to three wagons organized as intensive care units with 7 beds each for a maximum of 21 patients.  These wagons are in addition to another five for housing staff assigned to healthcare assistance, the pharmacy, and stockroom and for storing technological plants such as electric generators and uninterruptible power sources.


The train will have the ability to pass from first-level activities (emergency care clinic) to the activation of intensive care mobile units.  Railway wagons are specially equipped with medical supplies and advanced electro-medical devices for healthcare assistance for the transport of patients across Italy and Europe.

In the future, the train may be added with other wagons able to perform the functions of an advanced medical facility including examination rooms, laboratories, etc. and with healthcare staff guaranteed by AREU or arriving from other Italian Regions in case of need.


"The AREU healthcare train is a unique initiative within the MEDEVAC panorama and is to be considered a national resource of the 118 Emergency Services System in Italy, always on call for the Civil Protection Dept. The completion of this key project for our territory can be a way to transfer and valorize the experience of MEDEVAC on the Italian and European network, unfortunately considering that over the last few years hundreds of critical patients have been transported by road vehicles and aircraft (rotary- and fixed-wing).

It permits flexible use and guarantees the availability of staff, material and equipment for other emergency vehicles when the train is not in use.

Ultimately, it completes and qualifies the offer of protected healthcare transport that our nation is able to guarantee.” (Alberto Zoli)