Grant funds provide Tenn. EMS agency with 8 new stretchers

The battery-powered stretchers cost nearly $160,000, and the grant paid for 90 percent of the purchase


Gary Nelson
Crossville Chronicle, Tenn.

Cumberland County EMS took delivery of eight new Stryker Power Pro power stretchers Wednesday morning.

“This is something we’re really proud of and tickled that we got them,” Chris Miller, Cumberland County EMS director, said. “These have been needed for a long time.”

The new stretchers were obtained through a federal grant Miller applied for early in the year.

The battery-powered stretchers cost nearly $160,000, and the grant paid for 90 percent of the purchase. The remaining 10 percent was budgeted by the county.

The bid for the stretchers was awarded last month.

“We’ve been having a lot of problems with the old stretchers breaking and needing repairs. They aren’t cheap to repair. They have a five-year life expectancy, and we’ve gotten 10 years of use out of them,” Miller said. “I was very happy when I found out we were awarded the grant.”

MIller said it was also a safety issue and the new stretchers should help reduce shoulder and back injuries from EMTs and paramedics having to manually lift the old stretchers.

Miller said he has also applied for a power loading system grant, too.

“That system will work well with these stretchers and will load the stretchers onto the trucks. It’s another step toward making it safer and reducing injuries,” Miller said.

He said the department is anticipating getting three new ambulances in February and a fourth new ambulance to replace one that was totaled in a wreck in White County. The wreck was caused by another driver who struck the Cumberland County ambulance.

“We will be in much better shape once we have the new trucks. But getting these new stretchers is a big step forward for us,” Miller said.

The crews have had several demonstrations on the new stretchers and will have some training over the next few days. Miller said the new stretchers should be in use this week.

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©2018 the Crossville Chronicle (Crossville, Tenn.)

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