Ambulance upgrades touted as improvements to care and safety
Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services introduces two new systems improvements towards better patient safety and paramedic safety through innovation and research.
The Stryker Power-Load System and blue emergency lighting systems have been installed on two ambulances as part of a four-year project to improve safety.
The Stryker Power-Load System is a battery powered stretcher loading system designed to securely load and unload patients from the ambulance without requiring excessive manual lifting by paramedics. The system has a capacity of lifting a patient and all emergency equipment up to 700 pounds or 320 kg., securing the patient without the risk of falling while greatly reducing the risk of injury to paramedics. The Stryker Power-Load System costs approximately $27,000 each and all fourteen ambulances will be equipped with these systems over four years. The life expectancy of the Stryker Power-Load System is nine years.
“The Stryker Power-Load System improves patient and paramedic safety,” said Chief Bill Lister. “The savings of one workplace injury to the paramedic and to the taxpayer are significant. We expect to see injuries rates decrease significantly as a result of this upgrade.”
5 million kilograms
It is estimated the Stryker Power-Load System will reduce the requirements of paramedics to lift equipment and patients by 5 million kilograms a year.
The blue emergency lighting system installed on the ambulances is a result of changes in the Highway Traffic Act that permits all first responder agencies to use blue lights on the ambulance and replaces white lights. Research has shown blue lighting systems are more visible in snow, rain and fog conditions and alert drivers to the presence of the ambulance sooner.
Deputy Chief of Operations Wayne Markell stated, “The blue lighting upgrades cost $600 per vehicle and provides a low cost but extremely effective improvement to the safety of paramedics while operating an ambulance at a scene of an emergency.”
The ambulances’ blue lighting upgrades will be installed on all replacement vehicles over approximately four years.
LIGHTENING THE LOAD: Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services Chief Bill Lister, Primary Care Paramedic M. Larochelle and D. Dale.