CAYHILL, Sint Maarten — In the continuing effort to further professionalize the operations of the Ambulance Department of Ministry VSA and to equip our ambulances with the latest Emergency Medical Services (EMS) innovations on St. Maarten, two new fully equipped ambulances with the Power Pro Hydraulic Stretchers & Loading System were commissioned by Minister Emil Lee last week.
“The Ministry of VSA continues to make investments to improve the quality of care delivered to the people of St. Maarten. The upgrade in the ambulance fleet not only better serves the community, but also provides the staff with more modern equipment to aid them in carrying out their duties while providing a more comfortable accommodation for patients. The ambulance personnel over the years have had several concerns related to strained lower back problems as a direct result of lifting patients onto a stretcher. The Power-Pro hydraulic stretcher, which can be lowered to 14 inches, virtually eliminates this risk by letting the system do all the heavy lifting hydraulically,”, stated Minister Lee.
In dealing with patients requiring stretcher assistance, ambulance personnel have to lower the stretcher, bend over, lift, carry, twist, and load the patient on to the stretcher. This action often takes place in tight confined spaces where personnel are sometimes unable to employ proper lifting techniques. They then have to lift a patient-loaded stretcher and reverse the sequence back to the ambulance. On arrival at the ER (emergency room), the ambulance personnel have to remove the patient-loaded stretcher from the ambulance and transfer the patient to a hospital stretcher. This action can be repeated several times throughout the work shift and eventually takes its toll on the body.
Ambulance Department Head drs. Cylred Richardson says that his team deserves the best in innovative technological advancements in EMS in the delivery of quality and professional ambulance care. Management of the Ambulance Department is very pleased with this milestone achievement.