Two Lincoln Fire & Rescue (LFR) ambulances are now equipped with a system that increases safety for patients and responders. The Stryker Power-LOAD cot fastening system is ergonomically designed to reduce injuries by hydraulically lifting patients weighing up to 700 pounds and supporting the cot until the wheels are on the ground.
The system is also the first in the U.S. to meet dynamic crash test standards to increase the safety for occupants of the ambulance. A third ambulance is scheduled to have the system installed within the next 90 days.
"Lincoln Fire and Rescue responded to 16,720 calls for medical assistance in 2013," said LFR Chief John Huff. "In every instance, we pride ourselves on providing the best patient care while treating patients with dignity and respect. The Power-LOAD system will help reduce the spinal stress on providers and help prevent cumulative trauma injuries. This system will be very helpful in keeping Firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians from being injured in the field."
According to EMS World magazine, "If you're an average-size provider, male or female, lifting that patient on a stretcher and loading them into your truck can generate forces on your back that not only exceed the threshold of a potential hazard, but approach the level at which NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) advises tasks be redesigned."
Funding for the Power-LOAD systems is provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Metropolitan Medical Response System. More information on LFR is available at fire.lincoln.ne.gov.