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Cleveland Heights Purchases Cots to Prevent Firefighter Injuries

City Council approves motorized cots that keep firefighters from performing lifts that cause wear and tear on their joints and backs

The Cleveland Heights Fire Department will soon be equipped with new cots that eliminate lifts Chief William Freeman said causes the most injuries for firefighters.

"A big thing that hurts us over the years is cuumulative wear and tear," said Freeman. In fact, he said, more of his employees are injured during patient handling than during fires — in the past year, at a rate of at least 10 to 1.

The new motorized cots that City Council approved at Monday's meeting take out much of the bending and lifting that wear on firefighters' knees and backs, Freeman said.

The Stryker power cots and power loads for all three ambulances in the city come in at just over $111,000. Freeman said that the average cost of one firefighter's back injury to the city is around $80,000.

The department hopes to have the cots delivered within six weeks.

To see how the power load system works, watch the attached YouTube video.

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