Power-LOAD

July 18, 2014

Today, the Perinton Volunteer Ambulance Corps is proud to announce the integration of the latest technology in crew and patient safety: Power-LOAD™ from Stryker EMS. This system hydraulically loads and unloads stretchers into an ambulance, drastically reducing the potential for EMT and patient injuries.

“This system is not new to the industry, but we are the first ambulance service in Monroe County to introduce it,” said Jon LeRoy, President of PVAC. “We took our time weighing the benefits; chiefly the injury prevention for both EMTs and patients, against the cost and decided integrating this system would be a positive capital investment for our membership and the community we serve.”

Power-LOAD™ uses a system of battery-powered hydraulics to support the weight of the stretcher and patient while retracting or lowering the wheel carriage during the loading and unloading process. The system supports up to 870 pounds, which includes a patient weighing up to 700 pounds in addition to the weight of the stretcher.

“Back injuries are a leading cause of lost work days for EMS professionals. This system reduces the spinal load of the EMTs or EMTs supporting a patient-bearing stretcher during this process,” said LeRoy. “While many services use powered stretchers to extend or lower the wheel carriage, the process of loading and unloading the stretcher into the ambulance still produces increased spinal load and repetitive motion injuries. We hope to reduce or eliminate those types of injuries, at least as attributable to the loading and unloading process.”

The Power-LOAD™ system is the latest Stryker EMS technology PVAC has incorporated over the years. Most recently, the Corps outfitted their stretchers with Stryker EMS’s XPS (expandable patient surface) system, which replaced traditional rails with sides that fold out to a 52-dgree angle, increasing the surface area of the stretcher by 38%. It also includes a wider mattress to support the increasing size of patients being encountered by EMS professionals. “Power-LOAD™ is the latest piece of the puzzle for addressing patient size,” said LeRoy. “We now have the powered stretcher with a wider available surface area and a hydraulic system to safely maneuver the patient into the ambulance.”

Additionally, the system improves patient safety through ensuring the stretcher is fully supported during loading and unloading, preventing the potential for dropped stretchers. In the event of a collision, the system has been proven to withstand crash events well over 10 Gs (front and rear) and up to 10 Gs laterally. This is possible through multiple floor anchors to help prevent detachment of the stretcher.

The system will be installed in each of PVAC’s four ambulances over the summer and an additional viewing opportunity will be during our Open House, being held on August 24th from noon until 4:00 pm.