Rescue Squad reaches out to committee to make its job safer

Members of the Tabernacle Rescue Squad reached out to the township committee in hopes of making their job a little easier and their risk for injuries a lot less.

First introduced at a workshop meeting on May 13, the committee approved specifications and authorized the solicitation of bids for a power stretcher and loading system at the most recent workshop meeting on June 10.

The Power-LOAD system is a product of the company Stryker EMS, a provider of patient transport products.

Their engineering and design teams focus on continuous innovation globally with the goal of improving patient safety and reducing injuries among medics and caregivers.

The system being considered by the township is designed to reduce operator and patient injuries.

The device hydraulically lifts patients weighing up to 700 pounds with the touch of just one button.

The fastener system lifts and lowers the cot into and out of the ambulance, reducing spinal loads for EMTs and the risk of cumulative trauma injuries.

The lift is designed to improve operator and patient safety by supporting the cot throughout the loading and unloading process.

A member of the rescue squad presented the benefits of the system at the meeting on May 13.

The biggest one he felt is that, with this system, any two EMTs would be able to load any sized patient into the ambulance.

There are times now when EMTs report to the scene and find they are physically unable to move larger patients by themselves and then have to wait for another team to respond to the call and help with the transport.

Another benefit is the loading of the patient into the ambulance can be much smoother.

Prongs from the lift slide under the cot and raise the patient into the vehicle.

With EMTs, the movement is less fluid and takes more time, as they need to reposition themselves throughout the process to get the cot loaded.

The loading system takes about 30 seconds from the patient being outside to secure in the back of the ambulance.

The feature the system has that is most important to the rescue squad is the hope that it will greatly reduce the number of back injuries.

With less continuous lifting and the sometimes physically awkward task of loading stretchers into an ambulance, the idea is injuries would occur less, lowering workers compensation claims or medical leaves.

As the committee solicits bids for the power load system, members of the rescue squad are looking forward to days where both they and their patients can operate more safely.