Above: Paramedics Kaitlyn Kowalkowski and Richard Norton with the power stretchers and load system
by Morinville News Staff
The province is investing in new equipment to make paramedics work safer. Recognizing that repetitive patient lifting is one of the leading causes of injury to paramedics, the province is equipping more than 350 Alberta Health Services (AHS) ground ambulances with battery-powered power stretchers and load systems that can lift up to 317 kilograms (700 pounds) safely and without physical strain.
“Alberta paramedics dedicate their work every day to saving lives. We want to make sure they can perform their jobs without risk of injury,” Brandy Payne, Associate Minister of Health. “Installing this new lift technology will mean a safer workplace for paramedics, by helping protect them from work-related physical strain and injury.”
Alberta Health Services EMS chief paramedic Darren Sandbeck, said repetitive lifting is one of the leading causes of injuries in his industry.
“The new power stretchers and lift system will reduce the frequency of front-line crews having to physically lift patients in and out of ambulances, reducing the risk of injuries,” he said.
Installation of the new equipment will begin this summer on ambulances across the province with the work anticipated to be complete by spring 2018. The government decision follows a pilot project begun in 2015.