Document Type



Rappahannock Community College

Publication Date

Spring 2016


What has the greatest impact on EMS crew safety in the area of patient handling? In this study, EMS safety – crew safety for loading and unloading the stretcher either with or without a patient, and the stretcher – primarily powered lift stretchers, and their interface to the ambulance – either the traditional hook and antlers or the powered stretcher lift will be examined. The author, serving in agencies purchasing new ambulances and refurbishing a number of older ambulances and having precepted in agencies with both power lifts and rail mounting systems, became curious as to why new ambulances or refurbishments would be purchased specifically avoiding the newer powered lift even with its incipient cost? What are both national and state level standards and design requirements for ambulances? This study will use current standards at both national and state levels for ambulances, current manufacturer documentation, and authoritative peer reviewed documents on EMS safety. This study finds there are few available studies in the area of EMS lifting safety and injury, and those areas supported by studies have found a large savings over a short period converting their equipment to power stretchers with power lift systems. The costs have generally been recouped within one to two years vice the potential lifetime impact of knee or lower back injury.


Robert Brandel tied for the 2nd place Spring 2016 Student Research Paper Award from the Rappahannock Community College Library for this paper.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.