Med sleds translate into greater safety for Deerfield residentsThe Deerfield is better prepared for emergencies, thanks to a grant through the Wisconsin Hospitals Emergency Preparedness Program.
By: Jeff Holmquist, New Richmond News
The Deerfield is better prepared for emergencies, thanks to a grant through the Wisconsin Hospitals Emergency Preparedness Program.
The assisted living facility now has nine medical evacuation sleds, which will be placed at the top of the two-story building’s stairwells.
According to Rich Haider, emergency preparedness coordinator at Westfields Hospital, the sleds come in handy during a fire. Residents can be quickly evacuated down stairs and around corners with the sleds.
“It will be safer for the residents,” he said. “In the event of a disaster, the portable Med Sled can quickly be taken to a patient anywhere in the building where he or she can be loaded in less than one minute and evacuated.”
Haider said the sled are used by top hospitals and nursing homes across the country.
Jo Wrich, The Deerfield’s campus administrator, said previous evacuation plans called for residents to be removed from the building during a fire by using sheets and blankets from their beds.
“Those things don’t help when you’re going down steps, however,” she said. “This will make it a lot easier to get people out if there is a fire.”
Staff members at The Deerfield had training in the use of the medical evacuation sleds on July 7.
Haider said Westfields applied for a “special opportunity” grant through the Wisconsin Hospital Preparedness Program to gain the necessary funding for the sleds.
The grant also covered the purchase of a Stryker evacuation chair, which will be used by the New Richmond Fire Department to rescue people during structure fires.
The chair uses a tread system that enables operators to move patients up or down stairs without lifting, significantly reducing the risk of operator back injury, Haider explained.
The Wisconsin Hospital Preparedness Program began in 2002 and has provided funding for such emergency equipment to many hospitals and nursing homes.