Monroe commissioners hopeful $50k in new stretchers save county money

FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Monroe County commissioners say they hope a $50,000 investment saves the county even more money in the long run. They’re putting new stretchers inside ambulances across the county.

An empty fire house isn’t unusual in Monroe County, crews are constantly responding to calls.

“Our call volume over the last several years has increased by about 20% each year,” Matthew Perry, a paramedic, said.

When they do, paramedics say working with the provided stretchers aren’t always easy.

“It’s repetitive. People are getting larger and we’re going to need a little help to start preventing injuries to ourselves,” Perry said.

Commission chair Mike Bilderback says he’s looked at getting new ones for several years — and figured now is as good a time as ever for an upgrade.

“It was just a good time between the call volume and the need to buy a new stretcher. It was time to do it,” Bilderback said.

“This is just a solid investment for both the EMS worker and then the safety of the patient,” Perry said.

Perry, who wears ‘multiple hats’ for the county including paramedic, tell me when crews lift patients up with the manual stretcher it can cause back problems or worse.

He and Bilderback plan to get enough automatic stretchers to deal with growing demands and lighten the load for EMS workers.

“For three of them, we’re talking about $50,000. Some of that depends on the kind of warranty that we would like to purchase,” Bilderback said.

“It’s more than just a bed. It serves as a CPR platform, a moving platform, and your seatbelt in an ambulance,” Perry said.

A life saver Perry says will help lower the county’s insurance.

“All of them have solid data on worker’s comp related injuries and claims and how it saves workers in the long-term post purchasing one of these stretchers,” Perry said.

Bilderback tells 41NBC, many workers haven’t had incidents in the field that have injured them, but buying the stretchers would be a precautionary move. He says the commission should sign off on the new equipment at its next commission meeting.

Categories: Local News, Monroe County

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