A training session was held at the York Fire Department so first responders could learn how to use the two new Stryker power load cot systems. Bruce Wagner is shown using the cot system, with the “patient” being Assistant Fire Chief Tony Bestwick.

YORK – Grants and donations resulted in tens of thousands of dollars to be available for the purchase of new power load cot systems for York Fire and Rescue.

Two Stryker power load cot systems were purchased by the department and training was conducted this week so first responders know how to use them.

The department budgeted $71,000 for the purchase.

An amazing 100 percent of the cost was covered by donations and grants.

Two $30,000 grants from an anonymous donor were received.

And another grant, worth $9,400, was awarded by the York Community Foundation, which was recently announced.

A donation in memory of Richard Nolan, of $1,100, was given to the department and a $500 donation credited to the Hughes Brothers was received.

The purchase would not have taken place without the contributions, as city-wide capital expenses have been held to a minimum the last two fiscal years.

The power load systems are important because they improve operator and patient safety by supporting the cot throughout the loading and unloading process. The reduction in spinal load helps prevent cumulative trauma injuries. The systems met dynamic crash test standards and minimize patient drops by supporting the cot until the wheels are on the ground.

“What makes the cot system special is it gives us the ability, after the patient is on the cot, to load and unload the patient safely while preventing any injury to the York Fire personnel attending to the patient,” explained Assistant Fire Chief Tony Bestwick. “The Stryker power load system has a rail system that is installed on the floor of the ambulance. When the cot is loaded, it is attached to a fastener system that secures the cot to the rail system and then two arms come up and actually lift the cot up to the bed height of the ambulance. The wheels of the cot are then brought up and the cot is rolled into the ambulance. Vice versa, when the cot is unloaded at the destination.”

The system was installed in two of the three ambulances.

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