PINCKNEYVILLE, IL (KFVS) - Pinckneyville's ambulance service just got some high-tech hydraulic upgrades that will help keep their EMTs, paramedics and patients safer.
They're called power stretchers and the service got five in all. The hand-operated hydraulic lift allows one person to operate it, regardless of the patient's weight. That's a problem, Administrator Shane Malawy said, that is a nation-wide problem acknowledged by the Department of Health and is an ever growing problem.
Each one of the power stretchers retail at around $15,000, which is why Malawy said he did his homework and tested several models before making the purchase.
The older models Malawy replaced are restricted to 500 pounds and are uncomfortable for larger patients. The replacements, Malawy said, are made to hold 700 pounds and can facilitate bariatric patients with ease. He said that will greatly reduce the risk of work related injuries.
"Not only larger patients, but the sheer call volume. The more calls you run, the more you're forced to lift, the more fatigued you're gonna be, and its gonna reduce that overall," Malawy explained.
Malawy said the service paid for the power stretchers with grant money, help from their insurance provider and tax money. He said along with safer service, taxpayers should expect the stretchers to pay for themselves within a few years.
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