Am­bu­lance up­grades touted as im­prove­ments to care and safety

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

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.

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