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Lombard Fire Dept. adds safety measure with new stretcher system

Published: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 4:37 p.m. CDT

LOMBARD – A new stretcher and loading system being utilized by the Lombard Fire Department will help prevent injuries to paramedics and keep patients safer, according to fire officials.

The department's five ambulances were recently equipped with the new Stryker Power Assisted Stretcher and Loading System. The battery-powered, hydraulic stretchers are capable of lifting and lowering patients weighing up to 700 pounds with the push of a button.

The gurney is engineered to increase the margin of safety for emergency personnel, who will no longer need to physically lift and lower the stretchers. The loading system is designed to support the stretcher and mechanically move it during the loading and unloading process.

While it used to take several paramedics to load a stretcher safely, the new system requires just one to adjust the stretcher height and secure it onto the loading system.

Shoulder and back injuries sustained from lifting, pushing and pulling during training and emergency calls are the most costly workers compensation injuries, according to a release from the department.

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