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Alberta ambulances to be equipped with power lifts to reduce paramedic injuries

(Kaitlin Lee - 660 NEWS)

CALGARY – More than 350 ground ambulances in Alberta are to be equipped with power lifts on stretchers in an attempt to reduce injuries to paramedics.

The stretchers use battery-powered hydraulics to lift up to 317 kilograms safely and without physical strain.

Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne says lifting patients onto gurneys and into ambulances is one of the leading causes of injury to paramedics.

Alberta Health Services says electronic lifts were installed in eight inter-facility transfer vehicles in an 18-month pilot project and not a single lift-related injury was reported.

Over the same period, 84 injuries were reported by emergency medical personnel working in vehicles without the lifts.

The power lifts are costing the government $20 million.

They are to be standard issue in all new ground ambulances.