The ambulances in Great Falls Emergency Services' fleet will soon all have the same new-technology gurneys. It's a self-loading cot that helps EMTs save more time and lives.
It's one of the 50+plus approved ARPA projects in Cascade County.
Three were purchased several years ago and are big upgrades from previous options, says GFES general manager Justin Grohs.
"Originally, it was a completely manual devices that a crew had to physically lower, lift, load and unload,” Grohs said. “Cot technology has really changed over the last few years. The most recent technology that's available to EMS responders is a fully self-loading cot. The provider does not have to use their back or their arm strength or anything like that to get a patient into the back of the ambulance."
Grohs says the cots are used frequently and having all their vehicles loaded with the new technology saves time and is more efficient, helping them better serve the community.
Grohs said each cot is about $45,000, and there is also a $5,000 installation fee.
"When this ARPA funding became available, we thought that that would be an excellent use so we can help keep our people safe. One of the most common causes of injury is lifting and moving of patients and there's a lot of things that can be done to do that safely and to reduce the risk of injury. We certainly can’t afford someone getting injured, so we want to minimize the risk of that."
In addition to GFES, the Rural Fire Council was also approved for ARPA funding. It received $37,500 for radios to be used by first responders throughout the county.
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