BY ALAN M. PETRILLO
Makers of ambulance stretchers, cots, and gurneys focus on both patient and user safety with their equipment as well as ease of use while offering medics the option of manual or powered stretchers and cots. There is a wide range of stretchers available to fire departments, ambulance squads, and hospital ambulances, and ease of use and patient/medic safety are paramount in the designs of each manufacturer.
Ferno offers a number of ambulance cots designed with features and stability in mind to help medics reduce strain, keep control, and maintain proper body mechanics while loading and unloading an ambulance, says Jacob Cartner, Ferno’s engineering manager. Cartner points out that each of the 50 states have their own regulations regarding safe ambulances on their roads, and Ferno sells cots and stretchers to meet all those differences. “We just launched our Power X1 model of fully powered x-frame cots,” Cartner says, “which have a new user interface on the operator’s end as well as a new battery that gives long life.”
Cartner says that the Power X1 cot’s extend and retract speed “is faster than any other powered cot on the market, and the amount of weight that the medic has to assume is much lower than any other stretcher. That means the medic is holding less weight for less time, which translates into injury prevention and less wear and tear on the personnel and the equipment.”
He adds that the Power X1 uses new technology lithium-ion batteries that last three to four times longer than those currently on the market and that the front of the batteries have charge indicators so medics always know how much battery life is available. “We developed cross-compatibility in the Power X1, so the cot will fit into multiple types of fasteners in an ambulance floor,” Cartner notes. “And because it can fit into different fasteners, in a large fleet it can be switched between trucks and still be Society of Automotive Engineers compliant.”
Cartner notes that Ferno also sells a lot of its PROFlex 35X manual x-frame cots, as well as the INX, a no-lift solution cot but one fully powered with independent legs. “The INX can use the Power X1 battery and has many of its bells and whistles, with a number of different features and options,” he says.
MOBI MEDICAL SUPPLY
Mobi Medical Supply makes a number of ambulance stretchers and cots, including the Mobi-3G Aluminum Alloy Stretcher, the Mobi Pro 650 ambulance stretcher, the Mobi Pro X-frame EMS ambulance stretcher, and the Mobi 3D2 Automatic loading stretcher. Mobi’s automatic loading ambulance stretchers have a bed surface that is made of easy-to-clean, thick, foamed cushion and provides an adjustable back and leg area, helping the patient feel comfortable during transport. One person is able to send the patient and stretcher to the ambulance or transporting vehicle. The bed piece can be separated from the ambulance stretcher through a separating device and allows for varied height positions to help in patient transfer.
The Mobi-3G’s mechanical foldaway legs are controlled by the handles on one end of the stretcher, and legs can be folded under the stretcher automatically when loading into the vehicle. Also, the stretcher can be locked by the fixing devices when in the ambulance or transporting unit. Mobi notes that the stretcher is characterized by its durable, easy, and safe usage and sterilization and is ideal for nonemergency stretcher van transport because of its multiple height settings for easy patient transfer. Its weight capacity is 350 pounds.
The Mobi 3G aluminum stretcher has a bed with a 2½-inch foam cushion mattress, its back is adjustable to make the patient more comfortable when being transported, and it is equipped with security wheel locks that can be used to secure the stretcher when stationary.
Stryker makes the Power-PRO XT, the Performance-PRO XT, and the MX-PRO R3 ambulance cots, as well as the XPS expandable to fit cot. The Power-PRO XT powered ambulance cot was designed with input from medics, resulting in a cot that reduces manual lifting, Stryker notes. The Power-PRO XT’s battery-powered hydraulic system raises and lowers the cot at the touch of a button, and its retractable head section shortens the cot for 360-degree mobility in any height position.
Stryker’s Performance-PRO XT manual ambulance cot has a 700-pound capacity and a retractable head section for 360-degree mobility in any height position. It has a three-position adjustable load height for proper body mechanics when loading and unloading, a textured head and foot end lift and grip design, and duplicate foot end controls.
The MX-PRO R3 x-frame ambulance cot made by Stryker has a positive action height adjustment, easy-to-sure release handle design, color coded controls, dampened action during hot drops, seven height positions, an integrated bumper system, and a lift-capable safety bar.
Stryker’s XPS expandable patient surface allows an expanded patient surface area that can be retrofitted to compatible cots. It has seven locking positions and includes a wider mattress that reduces the transfer gap. The cot is engineered for durability and cleanability with a 6061-T6 aluminum core and over-mold design.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Editorial Advisory Board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.