Detroit EMS gets much-needed new gear

Kalamazoo company donates power stretchers to Detroit EMS

By Shawn Ley - Reporter

DETROIT - Detroit EMS has come a long way in just a few months.

Last winter Local 4 found brand new and badly needed EMS ambulances just sitting behind a building. Corporations donated the costs of the new rigs but the city failed to get the vehicles licensed and placed into service. Once Local 4 went to the city to alert city officials about the problem, the new ambulances were made legal and they were put into use.

Now, Detroit EMS is enjoying a bit of a rebirth. A department that struggled with old equipment is getting an influx of new gear.

The Stryker medical equipment company in Kalamazoo has donated two "power" stretchers to Detroit EMS to test out. The new gurneys raise and lower patients with the touch of a button, and the company guarantees that medics will suffer fewer back injuries by using the new stretcher.

Detroit EMS wants 26 of the new stretchers at a cost of $19,000.

EMS chief Sean Larkins says new Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has been very receptive of requests for new equipment. Detroit EMS is working with the city to find the funding and grant dollars to come up with $500,000 to pay for the new stretchers and for some other pieces of equipment.

The hope is to find the funding and to get the new gurneys into ambulances for use by the end of summer.

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