Fire bond committee approves purchase of power gurneys

August 9, 2018

BULLHEAD CITY — Bullhead City Fire Department paramedics soon could have happier joints and lungs.

A citizen advisory committee has given its blessing to purchase eight new power gurneys for BHCFD ambulances and exhaust systems for firefighters.

Emergency medical services manager Forrest Taylor told the committee that an in-house group evaluated two products over several months and preferred the Stryker Power-Pro XT model.

“It completely eliminates the use of your knees, your waist and your back,” in moving a patient on or off an ambulance, Taylor said after the meeting.

The estimated cost of the gurneys is $382,000, he said.

Paramedics currently lift patients by hand.

Taylor said that a department subcommittee preferred the Stryker product to a gurney from Ferno-Washington, Inc., based on factors that included weight, warranty, ease of use and positive reviews from other agencies.

The final price is about $39,000 more than the Ferno bid, Taylor said, but includes equipment that Ferno did not.

The committee also voted to recommend that the fire district’s governing board approve spending $195,477 for 21 vehicle exhaust removal systems.

The vehicle-mounted systems, acting fire chief Patrick Moore said, are part of department leaders’ efforts to reduce fire crews’ exposure to cancer-causing particulates.

Firefighters contract cancer at a higher rate than most professions, in part because of their presence around idling apparatus, including the start and end of a call, when the engine is running inside the enclosed apparatus bay, Moore said.

The vendor is Horseheads, N.Y.-based Ward Diesel.

The apparatus subcommittee is considering changing its plans from buying three new fire engines and a new platform ladder truck and having two engines refurbished to getting the department’s ladder truck refurbished and buying five new engines.

The latter proposition likely would net better value for the BHCFD, Moore said.

Committee member Karla Brady noted the panel’s task — overseeing the spending of money from a $16.7 million bond package approved by fire district voters in November — and said she would have to see justification for any changes to the expected list of projects.

The bonds are earmarked to pay for station improvements, new replacement apparatus and equipment upgrades.

Subcommittees are presenting items to the bond committee, which then forwards recommendations to the fire board, which has final say.

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