Tallmadge -- Two patient cots that are designed to be easier on the bodies of emergency responders have been installed in two separate Tallmadge Fire Department ambulances.
Fire/medic Ben Stasik demonstrated one of the two power-load cot systems to some members of City Council Thursday.
The cot systems, which can hold up to 700 pounds each, help to ease the strain on the backs of emergency services workers while lifting patients into an ambulance. The hydraulic systems are fully automated and don't require manual lifting of the regular cots that attach.
"After consulting with the BWC's [Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation's] ergonomics specialists, it was determined that these systems would eliminate over 4,800 manual cot lifts per year. The intent is to reduce injuries and musculoskeletal stressors for firefighters," Fire Chief Pat Gaffney said.
The total cost of buying and installing the cot systems was $91,555.52, paid for with a $40,000 grant from the BWC and $51,555.52 in matching funds from the city's capital improvement fund.
Although the third cot, donated by Akron General Medical Center, doesn't have a hydraulic load system, it does have a power design.
The hospital is the medical advisory facility for the fire department, which paramedics contact for medical advice and support when treating patients, according to Mayor Dave Kline.
Gaffney said the fire department is considering buying a new ambulance next year and would like to install the donated power cot with a power load system that the fire department would buy.
Watch the video to the right of your screen to see how the cots work.
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