June 24, 2015

Mercer County Ambulance weighs new equipment

By Jarann Johnson
On Monday night the Mercer County Ambulance Board had a busy evening at their Beulah location. The 6 p.m. meeting featured several key points – an equipment demonstration, a accountant report and a request by Sakakaea Medical Center (SMC) to approve an easement.
The meeting started off with a half-hour demonstration by a Stryker employee. The demonstration focused on how Stryker’s hydraulic lift  would make the unloading and loading process easier and safer for patients and emergency personnel services.
Several Mercer County Ambulance employees were at the meeting and asked questions about the  equipment. Questions were asked about the weight limit, durability and price.
The cots, patient beds, have a 700 pound limit and the lift system has marine grade quality, which means that it will hold the patient still in the event of an accident. The cots are also waterproof so water doesn’t damage them or make them inoperable for the lift machine.
After having most of their questions answered Stryker’s presenter mentioned local towns and counties that have purchased their system and the results.
The way the machine works is that a hydraulic device lifts or lowers the cot into and out of the ambulance, reducing spinal loads and the risk of cumulative trauma injuries to patients and EMS.
After the presentation questions about pricing flowed in. Stryker’s representative said that deluxe package with bigger cots would cost a little over $52,000 and that the basic cot with the machine would cost about $42,000.
The board talked about several possibilities to pay for the new system; applying for a Basin Electric grant, gaining grant money, how they believed other emergency entities financed their Stryker equipment. But no action was made on purchasing the system and the meeting moved on.
Fred Stern, Vice President of SMC, approached the board about adding an easement on the Southwest side of the SMC building. Stern said his request was to make access easier to the new emergence room and the construction would start in the fall.
The only question to come from the ambulance board was if there was enough room for the road and how much room there had to be for the easement to meet city ordinances. Stern said he believed there were 14-14.5 feet away from the building.

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