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All ambulance crews should be equipped with ProMove slings

Fire and Rescue and Ambulance Services are routinely required to lift and move injured, incapacitated, disabled or bariatric individuals in challenging situations. The ProMove sling can be placed beneath an individual in a restricted space (e.g. crashed vehicle or cramped bedroom) with minimal disturbance and no requirement to roll, thus reducing the risk of further injury.

Emergency Services personnel often have to resort to using the controversial top-and-tail lift with its inherent dangers of bruising, skin shearing, dislocations or fractures. How many claims is your organisation facing as a result of inappropriate manual handling? How many members of staff have suffered musculoskeletal injury as a result of inappropriate manual handling?

The manual handling coordinator for a leading UK NHS Ambulance Trust , said: “our staff are instructed to use the top-and-tail as a last resort, and if something goes wrong during the procedure, our defence has been – it was an emergency, there was no alternative. Since the ProMove sling has been on the market, we cannot use that defence”.

In collaboration with members of the Emergency Services we have developed three different kits, with a range of equipment, specifically for manual handling and rescue by the emergency services:

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The Emergency Services Kit

This inexpensive kit, when placed on every ambulance and appliance, eliminates the need for the controversial top-and-tail lift, significantly reducing the risk of additional injuries to the casualty and risk of musculoskeletal injury to the operatives.

The kit comprises a sling suitable for a range of sized individuals, from a larger child or adolescent to a moderately bariatric adult, together with a set of 8 extension handles and a compact kit bag to carry it all. The extension handles are loops of soft webbing that are simply attached to the sling handles and enable more than four operatives to share the heavier load or to assist handling in tricky situations, such as descending stairs. The extension handles can be daisy-chained for extra extension length. As an optional extra, we offer a tubular slide sheet that may assist in sliding someone from a restricted location, supported in the sling, to a position where it is easier to implement a lift. This will fit into the same bag.

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ES sling and extension handles provide a versatile manual handling solution
ES sling and extension handles provide a versatile manual handling solution
Wayne Price
The ProMove sling is a very innovative piece of equipment. Its simple design allows efficient and comfortable evacuation of disabled and/or bariatric casualties with minimal training implications. Its compact nature also minimises stowage requirements as space is at a premium on front line Fire appliances.
Wayne Price / Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, UK
Paul Gladwin
We first used the ProMove sling to rescue an obese lady from the bath. Being able to slip the sling under the lady was very important as was the number and position of the handles provided – without the sling this rescue would have been extremely difficult.
Paul Gladwin / South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, UK

The BariKit

Supplied to specialist teams, e.g. HART, USAR and Tech Rescue for handling bariatric patients/casualties. There is an increasing requirement to manually handle a bariatric person, whether as a casualty in an accident or to admit to hospital for treatment and the BariKit has become central to the process, comprising everything that is required for the first point of contact. The slings and accessories make the most challenging moves more manageable, reducing risk of injury to rescue personnel and providing safety, comfort and dignity for the bariatric individual. Maintaining the bariatric individual in an upright (seated) position substantially reduces the risk of breathing difficulties associated with placing a bariatric person in the supine position and the ProMove slings achieve this.

The BariKit includes three sizes of ProMove slings: the ES sling, the bariatric sling and the super bariatric sling. The slings have capacities up to 63 stone/400 kg and with multiple handles, permit a large team to assist in moving the individual. Accessories include the Bugg strap (a specially stiffened, wide webbing) to insert behind the individual’s back or under the thighs to assist in getting the sling into position; a soft padded handling belt permitting two members of the team to support the individual’s legs; a set of eight extension handles and a metre wide heavy duty slide sheet. The entire kit is supplied in a large, sturdy bag. Chris Jones, a technical rescue officer and director at Sparta Rescue and Medical Training, referring to the BariKit says: “this is the only credible piece of equipment for us to use in a rescue situation”.

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Robert Bugg

The ProMove sling has proved to be invaluable to us when rescuing and moving larger casualties. It is easy to use and gives us a quick and simple method of getting sufficient hands on to enable a safe and stable lift. We are called out to around forty such incidents a year and regularly use the ProMove to bring these incidents to a safe and dignified conclusion. The ProMove is ideally suited to carrying out rescues when the casualty is in a seated position, such as road traffic collisions, due to it maintaining the casualty in a seated position.
The days of rescuers using ad-hoc equipment such as tarpaulins to lift and move heavier casualties should be a thing of the past when dedicated equipment, i.e. the ProMove is available.

Robert Bugg / Technical Rescue Unit, West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, UK