By Tara Figurski
Truro Township was awarded a grant that will allow the township to purchase power lifting cots for all of the emergency medical service vehicles.
The $40,000 grant is from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. To receive the grant, the township is required to make a $50,861 contribution toward the project, said Truro Township Administrator Jason Nicodemus.
“The township applied for the grant to defer costs,” Nicodemus said. “The power cots will eventually be mandated and applying for the grants was an opportunity to get some assistance with funding to pay for the power cots.”
Nicodemus said the power cots will reduce staff exposure to injuries while loading and unloading patients from EMS vehicles.
Lt. Chuck Brooks, the township’s EMS coordinator, said the power cots are designed to help prevent injuries to EMS attendants. He said firefighters may lift patients who weigh anywhere from 300 to 700 pounds when responding to an emergency.
“With the stress and strain on the back it’s almost impossible to avoid back injuries,” Brooks said, who added the power cots lower the potential for injury. “Statistics show that use of the cots reduce the amount of time we have to lift in and out of a vehicle.”
He said the power cot system is a loading and lifting system that helps firefighters get patients out of their home and into the emergency vehicles. If patients are able to walk, they are encouraged to get themselves to the squad. However, if they are unable to walk paramedics have access to a chair that can get into tight spaces until the patient can be loaded onto the cot.
Once the township receives verification the funding has been received the fire department will have 90 days to purchase and implement the equipment into the EMS squads.
“It all depends on the availability of the people who can install them,” Brooks said. “There are just a few people that are actually certified in installing that type of lift system.”
The township has three EMS vehicles that will receive the new power cots. The fire department also recently submitted a request for approval for a new EMS vehicle. The new vehicle will also have the power cot system installed.
Firefighters have mixed reaction to the new power cots, Brooks said.
“Some guys like it, he said. “Other guys don’t because it is a little heavier. It is going to take some training and getting used to.”
The safety of the power cots is ensured. The power cots will be bolted to the EMS vehicles to prevent the cots from flipping over or a patient from falling off the cot.
Once the power cots have been installed, the township has allocated three days of training for the new equipment. Each firefighter will have a full day to learn how to use the equipment.
“A representative from (Striker) will go over the entire system and make sure that everyone is comfortable with them,” Brooks said.