Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento Metro Fire District equipping ambulances with power gurneys

New hydraulically-operated power gurneys are wider to accommodate larger patients and are expected to reduce back injuries to paramedics from lifting patients.
New hydraulically-operated power gurneys are wider to accommodate larger patients and are expected to reduce back injuries to paramedics from lifting patients. Photo courtesy Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District

To better accommodate larger patients and reduce back injuries to paramedics, the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District is equipping its ambulances with hydraulically operated power gurneys.

With the increase in obesity nationwide, back injuries caused by lifting patients have increased as well, according to a district news release. Most of the district’s traditional gurneys, which have a life span of about seven years, needed replacing, prompting the district to transition its ambulance fleet to new power gurneys, officials said.

The Power Load system includes a wider gurney, with a capacity for larger patients, and a hydraulically operated Power Load installed inside the ambulance. By pressing a button, the entire gurney is lifted hydraulically, officials said, and the wider footprint of the gurney provides increased stability for patients.

“Metro Fire responded to over 62,000 EMS calls in 2014,” Assistant Chief Maurice Johnson said in a written statement. “Providing a safer transport for these patients, at the same time protecting our paramedics, is another way Metro Fire is leading the industry.”

Twenty-seven gurneys have been replaced, and installation of the Power Load system in the district’s 35 medic units is on track to be completed by August, officials said.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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