City gets $183,000 grant for new fire equipment
ANDERSON – For first responders in Anderson, a problem for many years is assisting overweight patients onto gurneys and up and down stairs.
The current equipment used by the Anderson Fire Department requires firefighters to physically lift people onto the gurney, up and down flights of stairs and then onto the back of an ambulance.
The Anderson Fire Department has been awarded a $183,163 grant from the Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters.
The city of Anderson is providing 10% of the amount, $18,316, for the purchase of six Stryker Power Load patient assistance systems.
U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, R-5th District, said the patient assistant systems are needed to transport and serve patients weighing over 400 pounds.
“According Anderson Fire Department officials, they have seen a 22% increase in ambulance runs since 2014,” Brooks said in a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “Anderson Fire Department leaders have also seen an increase in transporting and serving patients weighing over 400 pounds.”
Brooks said the power assist systems will guarantee the safety of both patients and ambulance personnel.
“These patient load assist systems will eliminate the possibility of cots tipping over or dripping and thus reduce injuries to staff and patients,” she said.
The Anderson Fire Department makes approximately 10,000 medical transports annually.
Anderson Fire Chief Dave Cravens said a Stryker Power Load patient assistance system will be placed on each of the department’s six ambulances. He said the current manual lift systems will be retained as a backup.
Cravens said the new equipment should be delivered within two months.
“We can now replace outdated equipment at minimal expense to local taxpayers,” he said.
Cravens said the power units will provide much needed relief to paramedics and EMTs who are lifting patients manually for transport.
“We decided early on to make it a priority to replace aging fire and emergency medical equipment to ensure our AFD personnel have the safest and most up to date equipment possible,” Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said in a press release. “Switching to power equipment lowers the physical strain on our EMS providers and decreases the risk of workplace injuries.”