Shooting and mass casualties - it feels like it's becoming a "when", not "if", it could happen in your town. For Fire Chief Joe Pulvermacher, it has happened twice in his small community already. A man in a bulletproof vest outside Milwaukee, WI charged into a third-floor room at the Comfort Suites, shoots his girlfriend and three others before surrendering - two did not survive. A Sikh temple prepares for lunch, as a domestic terrorist walks through the doors, shooting indiscriminately, killing six and wounding three people across this 17,000 square foot facility.Patient Access is Imperative
These shootings share multiple things in common besides geography - primarily the wounded victims that need immediate medical attention in an unsecured, volatile crime scene. It's difficult to duck and cover with an elevated gurney. Even standard flexible transport devices weren't up to the task of quick extractions with minimal personnel. Chief Pulvermacher had first-hand knowledge from these incidents of how minutes count when trying to get to, and remove, wounded persons with unknown assailants around.
Rigid, wheeled gurneys or cumbersome stretchers may not make it to the victim in time, let alone provide transport to an awaiting trauma vehicle. The MegaMover® was an answer for the general use problem of navigating difficult terrain, providing a lightweight yet sturdy option to transport patients safely. This flexible and portable patient transport stretcher was able to go places where traditional wheels couldn't.
Yet, in highly volatile situations like active shooter incidents, even that wasn't enough.
Chief Pulvermacher recognized the problems with available transport options from personal experience, and he took action to make improvements. With more than 25 years as a career firefighter, the Oak Creek Battalion Chief drew on his expertise in tactical emergency medical support and reached out to Graham Medical to create an improved patient transport unit designed for active shooter incidents.
He commented, "The agile nature of [tactical] response requires different equipment... [we] needed a better serving device for the tactical environment."
High-stress situations are difficult enough for EMTs and paramedics without added complications from equipment. Chief Pulvermacher's vision was to create a product that helps emergency personnel quickly and effectively respond in unsecured, mass casualty situations. He had a few specific ideas, like:
- Simplicity and symmetry: Easy to use without having to think about it, and with no wrong side application - When lives are at risk you don't want to have to think
- Light and Portable: Small enough to be able to be rolled up and worn on the person of the rescuer - not having to be carried by hand
- Security: Incorporating a chest strap to keep the victim on the unit during dragging
- Easy grip hand holds on the straps: Large enough to be easily used with gloved and/or shaking hands
- Durable and cost-effective: Priced for single-patient use, but durable enough to be able to be used for multiple transports if needed and able to support large persons
The MegaMover® Tactical offers responders the opportunity to keep their focus on the situation at hand, allowing for intuitive use without unnecessary distractions.
Designed specifically for use by small rescue task force teams, this new MegaMover® Tactical transport unit keeps the portability of the original MegaMover® but improves on the ability to remove a victim from the scene. Improved ergonomics allows a patient to be moved by fewer responders.
For more information on the MegaMover® Tactical, contact Graham Medical today.