Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Jon Kelvey Carroll County Times: EMS technology extends careers

Carroll County Times: EMS technology extends careers at the Westminster Md Vol Fire Co

EMS technology extends careers at the Westminster Md Vol Fire Co

Retrieved Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Volunteers at our local fire companies sometimes put their lives on the line battling blazes, but a majority of the calls these departments receive are to respond to medical emergencies. While — for the volunteer responders at least — they aren't facing a life or death situation for these calls, they are often putting wear and tear on their bodies, which shortens careers.

So we were happy to see the Westminster Volunteer Fire Department demonstrate last week the latest technology to be deployed by the department, Stryker Power Load System stretcher, which allows patients to be loaded and easily put into ambulances, saving the stress on volunteers' limbs and spines.

Fire Department Lt. Brett Pearce told us that about half of the department's line-of-duty retirements for emergency medical service workers each year are due to back injuries, which occur when lifting and carrying people out of their homes on a stretcher.


Yet, that's exactly the situation volunteers at some of these companies are facing. Westminster Volunteer Fire Department alone responded to 5,743 EMS calls last year, making it one of the busiest volunteer agencies in the state, according to the department's Public Information Officer Kevin Dayhoff. For almost every EMS call, a paramedic is lifting a stretcher four times — in and out at the scene and again at the hospital. While we'd like to think they follow proper form every time, we know that isn't realistic, especially when time is of the essence for the patient.

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