City Commission Approves New Ambulance for SFD

By: 
JOSEPH GRANT
Lead Staff Reporter

The City Commission approved an ambulance purchase. The ambulance would go to the City auction. It needs to be stripped of any identifying marks such as Sweetwater and ambulance. In the past these have been donated to Blackwell and surrounding towns. The vehicles bring very little at the auctions and gets more mileage out of donating these vehicles to other towns. The ambulance, however is from 1984 and the truck is from 1999. The motion carried and bids will go out to purchase a new ambulance.
In addition to this new ambulance purchase approval, a Stryker Pro XT will be included in the new ambulance. As of February, the State of Texas passed a new safety regulation of going away from the current antler system for improved safety standards. During a collision, the odds of the cot coming out are really high. The person and the cot then would become a projectile. With the new safety standards, Texas mandates a crash-rated fastening system that would not allow the cot to be separated from the unit.
“This is a vast improvement over what we’ve had in the past. One person would have to stand at the end and push the unit in and the wheels would slide up. It’s not much different than what we had, but vastly improved.” Fire Chief Grant Madden said.
The Stryker Pro XT cot fastener systems help make the lives of EMS teams easier, safer and more efficient as the cot is designed to do the heavy lifting. The innovative electrically power load system assists in loading and unloading a cot at the touch of a simple button. The unit can handle 700 pounds plus the full weight of the cot, which is about 140 pounds. This alleviates any lifting that can cause back problems for medics. Retractable head section provides 360-degree mobility in any height position and works on level ground of up or down in a ditch or in a house with odd corners.
One in four have a career-ending back injury. The unit is proven to reduce a back injury by 75 percent. The typical cost of a back injury to an employer is around $70,000. The idea of patient drops are also taken care of by the unit
“There have been two back injuries a year and most of them are from loading a full-sized trucker, which we get a lot of, 300 to 350 pounds and put them in a bar ditch and putting them in the back of the ambulance, this unit takes care of that. When we got the power cot, we stopped having so many back injuries.” Madden said.
The cot comes with a battery that is charged off of the ambulance and is easy to get to. “It is like changing out the battery to the bottom of you drill. It’s that easy.” Madden said.
The cost of the Pro XT depends on which purchase package one is looking. One system alone is about $60,000 but there is talk about standardizing the fleet and this will actually save up to about $50,000 if this is done altogether. There are payment options. Madden has made sure that the new ambulance has this Pro XT in the requirement specs.

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