PIQUA — The Piqua Fire Department is one of 14 Ohio employers that will share $341,020 in grants from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to purchase equipment designed to reduce or eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses.
“Many injuries can be prevented with the right tools and equipment in place,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison in a press release. “Employers that make safety a top priority are rewarded with the benefits that follow, including a healthy workforce, lower costs, and greater productivity.”
The BWC approved the Safety Intervention Grants in December. The recipient employers operate in eleven counties around the state, including Cuyahoga, Lake, Marion, Mercer, Miami, Ottawa, Sandusky, Scioto, Stark, Van Wert, and Warren counties.
The Piqua Fire Department will be using its $40,000 grant and an approximately local match of $43,041 to purchase for power load cots and loading kits from Stryker Sales Corporation.
During the Piqua City Commission meeting this week, Piqua Fire Chief Brent Pohlschneider said that purchase will allow them “to implement a process that we believe will greatly reduce the risk of injuries to our staff on repetitive lifting of patients into the back of our medic units.”
Pohlschneider said that they had the BWC come in and look at their process of how lift and transport patients. The department’s two main medics will receive the power cots and power load systems.
“It’s a channel rail that comes out of the back of the ambulance,” Pohlschneider said. He explained the process of the power load cot, saying that once the patient is locked in and safely secured to the cot, then it raises the carriage of the cot wheels and slides the patient into the medic. The power load cot absorbs the weight of the carriage and the cot rather than putting that on the EMS staff.
“This is the only system on the market right now,” Pohlschneider said.
The Safety Intervention Grant program matches an employer’s investment 3-to-1 up to a maximum of $40,000. Quarterly data reports and follow-up case studies measure the effectiveness of employers’ safety interventions and establish best practices for accident and injury prevention.
Learn more about the Safety Intervention Grant Program at bwc.ohio.gov.
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