Updated 10/22/2012 07:07 PM
Schoharie ambulance to serve growing problem
Studies show being overweight puts your health at risk, but did you know it can also put the lives of those caring for you at risk? A Schoharie County Ambulance service got a new technology to prevent that, and as YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, they need the help more than most places.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
SCHOHARIE, N.Y. -- Scho-Wright Ambulance Service President, Bob Price, said, "We're the first of the ambulance squads in the Capital District to have this device."
The device he is refering to is a power loading system that Scho-Wright installed in its new ambulance.
"It's going to keep us from the possibility of back strain and other back problems by allowing us to lift patients into the rig without having to pick the stretcher up and load it," explained Price.
Scho-Wright Captain, Roy Overholt, said, "A lot of us are getting older, and we just can't do the lifting we used to do."
The majority of crew members are over the age of sixty, and they tell us that most of their patients tend to be overweight. And according to local health officials, that combination makes this technology more needed than ever before.
"For the United States the amount of obese people are 25 percent, for NY state it's also 25 percent, and for Schoharie County it's 28 percent," said Schoharie County Health Director, Asante Shipp-Hilts.
And along with the extra pounds comes more reasons for an ambulance ride.
Shipp-Hilts said, "Heart disease, diabetes is definitely on the rise in association with being overweight and obese."
One of the best parts of the power loading system is that it's a safer and smoother ride for the patient.
"It keeps us from dropping or mishandling the stretcher on uneven ground, makes it a lot easier for controlling the stretcher putting the person in," noted Overholt.
The $25,000 device will be funded through donations and insurance reimbursements.
All of which is a small price to pay for the safety of the community.
Price said, "Considering the value of it in protecting the crews, it's a tremendous investment."
The new device will officially be in service towards the end of next week.