The cot is either lifted into the ambulance and automatically steered and fastened into place, or released and lowered to the ground, the fire department said in a press release. The purpose of the power-load cot fastener system is to prevent back injuries to personnel while lifting the cot and is safer for both the patient and EMS personnel, according to the release.
"The power-loading cot fastener system is very good and it is definitely saving our backs," paramedic Jack Jirgl said. "At first I was neutral to them but since using them for two weeks, I now see the benefit of them since it reduces the need to lift people, I can see how this will reduce back injuries.”The fire district's workers compensation insurance carrier, Illinois Public Risk Fund, also supports use of the power loading coat fastener system.
The Plainfield Fire Protection District received a grant from the Illinois Public Risk Fund in the amount of $35,583 towards the purchase. The system was installed in all four front line ambulances.
In 2013, the Plainfield Fire Protection District responded to 2,646 emergency medical calls.