Delivering oxygen safely and swiftly: AUSMAT’s pioneering manifold system

04 Oct 2023

Written by Terry Trewin AFSM, Senior Logistician

AUSMAT Logistics/Engineering has achieved a remarkable milestone by successfully developing, building and implementing a medical oxygen manifold system and internal reticulated oxygen distribution designed for field use during deployments. This achievement highlights the team's ongoing dedication to innovation and excellence in disaster medical logistics.

In previous AUSMAT responses, the practice of placing oxygen cylinders on the floor behind patients presented significant safety concerns due to the challenges associated with managing and transporting these cylinders within shelter environments. Recognising the need for a safer and more efficient solution, AUSMAT Logistics/Engineering embarked on the development of the oxygen manifold system and piped oxygen in the AUSMAT facility.

This new AUSMAT oxygen manifold system represents a groundbreaking advancement for emergency medical teams (EMT). Testing of the first stage of the reticulated oxygen system, which meets Australian and International standards, saw the team deliver 15 litres per minute to 12 bedside flow meters, with minimal pressure drop. The next stage is to deliver oxygen to other critical areas within the EMT facility.

Additionally, the oxygen manifold features an automated warning system that advises when cylinders are running low and includes an automatic changeover mechanism to automatically switch to a full cylinder bank, ensuring an uninterrupted supple of oxygen. It also allows the team to hot-swap cylinders when supplies are intermittent.


In AUSMAT response scenarios, where time is critical, the new oxygen manifold system prioritises patient and staff safety and streamlines the delivery of oxygen throughout the high-dependency ward. This innovative approach significantly enhances the efficiency and safety of oxygen distribution in the field, making it a game-changer in the realm of disaster response.

The Logistics/Engineering team is now refining the specialised system for the operating theatre and enhancing its suitability for transport in austere environments. It is intriguing what you find inside AUSMAT’s space cases.

After years of design work and interruptions from COVID-19, AUSMAT’s new oxygen generators are due to arrive soon. Producing a combined 160 lpm and with cylinder filling capabilities, this is a significant improvement in our capabilities and self-sufficiency.

Terry Trewin

Mr Terry Trewin AFSM
Senior Logistician

A long serving and highly respected senior member of the Northern Territory’s Fire and emergency Services, Terry Trewin has worked closely as Senior Logistician with the NCCTRC since 2010. A multi-skilled individual, Terry has a passion for innovation, AUSMAT and photography. He has deployed on several occasions including to the Philippines in 2013 and Vanuatu in 2015, and has been critical to the development of the NCCTRC’s several deployable assets, as well as the training regime. Terry continues to provide support and mentorship to EMTs globally as teams prepare for global verification. Terry continues to work closely with UK Med to assist with ensuring deployable capability.