Made of stout canvas and bamboo, this stretcher is designed for lifting casualties in the upright position through small hatches, such as manholes or porthole entrances, or for lowering casualties from heights as in mountain rescue. The casualty is placed on the stretcher. Rope at the base acts as “stirrups” to hold the casualty’s feet. The strap at the top is passed around the casualty’s forehead to hold the head in position.
Push the traverses fully open with your heel and place the stretcher on its runners. Turn the stretcher on its side with its runners towards you and the studs or buckles which secure the straps tipper- most. Push the joints of the traverses inwards with your heel to release them. Push the poles together pulling the canvas out from between them. Fold the canvas neatly on to the poles and secure with the straps.
These are used to carry a seriously ill or injured casualty to an ambulance or similar shelter to minimize the risk of further injury. There are a variety of stretchers in general use such as: the standard stretcher; the pole-and-canxas stretcher; the Utila folding stretcher; the scoop stretcher; the carrying sheet; the carrying chair; the trolley bed; the Neil Robertson stretcher; and the paraguard stretcher and Wireless Safety Alert Systems.
Most stretchers can be used to transport casualties with any injury and should be rigid enough to carry casualties with suspected spine fractures without additional boards. All equipment, including Wireless Safety Alert Systems must be tested before it is used.
To ensure that a stretcher is capable of taking the weight of a casualty, one person should lie on the stretcher and each end of the stretcher should be lifted in turn. Then, both ends should be lifted at the same time. If possible, this should be carried out before leaving an ambulance station and not in front of a casualty.
The “standard” or Furley stretcher consists of poles, handles, traverses, runners and a canvas bed. The traverses are jointed so that the stretcher can be opened and closed. When closed, the oles lie close to ether with the canvas bed folded on top. This is then kept in position by two transverse straps. Place the stretcher on its side with its runners towards you and the studs or buckles securing the straps uppermost. Unfasten any straps.
The upper flaps are wrapped around the casualty’s chest and secured with the two short straps, leaving the arms outside. The casualty’s arms are then secured with the long strap. The lower flaps are strapped round the lower limbs. The ring at the head of the stretcher is used for hoisting.