**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
New Equipment to Improve Safety for Paramedics
The province is investing $2.7 million to buy new power stretchers and power loaders for 62 ambulances. This will allow patients to be lifted into ambulances with the push of a button, making it more comfortable for them and easier and safer for paramedics.
“Nova Scotia’s paramedics are a critical part of our health-care system and we know their work can be very physically demanding,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “The automated stretchers and loaders will make it much easier to lift patients and help prevent workplace injury.”
Paramedics will be trained on the new equipment that will start being installed early in the new year.
This funding comes from the Canada-Nova Scotia Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addiction Services Funding Agreement.
“It is a huge win for our organization to be able to incorporate power stretcher and power load systems, mitigating some risk of injury for paramedics. Paramedics across the province will be able to use this tool daily, improving both the quality and longevity of our careers, and above all, this will enhance our ability to provide top quality and safe care to our patients.”
– Luke Slysz, advanced care paramedic, EHS
— there are 160 ambulances and 1,207 paramedics in Nova Scotia
— EHS paramedics respond to approximately 175,000 calls every year for emergencies and patient transfers
— paramedics in Halifax participate in the Extended Care Paramedic Program which allows seniors to be treated in their home rather than an emergency department
— a check in program called VISIT allows paramedics in the Annapolis Valley to check in on some seniors identified by local doctors
— a new Community-Based Paramedic Program in Cape Breton Regional Municipality offers support to patients after being released from hospital