Ambulances in Huntsville just got a major upgrade. They now have a power load system to get patients inside safely. One paramedic said they learned how the major investment is going to make both the paramedics and patients ride easier.
"We first started out where we manually, literally, pulled the lever and lifted it up. It took two people to do it," said a paramedic, Britt Birdwell.
Birdwell said he's worked as a paramedic for Huntsville Emergency Medical Services for ten years, and loading patients into the ambulances took a lot of strength. Now, the service has gone to a full power load system.
"It takes all the lifting out except when we move the patient from the floor to the stretcher. The patients will definitely notice the difference. It's a lot smoother coming out of the ambulance," said Birdwell.
$800,000 was spent to install the system in the 36 ambulances owned by the service.
Huntsville Medical Emergency Services said this technology will help to load patients safely and securely in the future.
Birdwell said he's already noticing the difference with the new system.
"I just recently got back from having shoulder surgery, and I can literally do this with one hand and moving a very large patient," he said.
If the fully powered system wasn't in place, he might not have been able to come back to work as quickly.
"The lifting would have been a problem," Birdwell said.
Huntsville Emergency Medical Services told WAAY 31 all new ambulances across the country are required to have this power load system.