EMS or emergency medical services are constantly required to move patients in a variety of settings. In most situations EMS staff will use a stretcher to securely and safely move patients, but there is another option that may be more practical in different situations. This is the EMS chair that allows patients that are able to remain in a seated position to be efficiently and safely moved down stairs, across rough terrain or even in smaller areas such as in elevators.
An EMS chair is designed much like a transport chair but with a more secure and stable frame. Some models have four smaller wheels like a transport chair while others may have two rear wheels and straight legs on the front of the chair. This provides the option for the EMS staff to lift up on the extending handles that are attached to the back and front legs to roll the chair while keeping the patient secured. The four wheel models have the rear wheels in a locked and fixed position with the front wheels swiveling as normal for a wheelchair or transport chair. This is a good option for patients since they can be wheeled normally when it is possible but still easily put into a safe position to move the chair up and down stairs.
Unlike a wheelchair EMS chairs are designed to be very streamlined and minimal in their size. Some of the deluxe types of models may offer the option of foldable patient armrests that are helpful for patients to feel secure. They do not have the bulky patient armrests or the swing away leg and foot rests, but all models have some form of shelf or ledge type of rest for the feet. Since the patient does not have the large sized arm rests for support these chairs offer a brace or 4 point security harness that safely and comfortably holds the patient in position in the chair. This harness is crosses over the shoulders from both sides and also fastens around the waist. The shoulder harness clicks into the respective sides of the waist belt, providing a secure and comfortable fit. They are adjustable to fit most adults and children and the chair itself will have a weight capacity, many rated to up to and over 350 pounds.
Since these are evacuation or rescue chairs they are incredibly lightweight for their size and durability. Most are made out of aluminum which is very durable, lightweight and resistant to damage. The seat and back is made of nylon or vinyl that is reinforced and very easy to clean and maintain.
EMS chairs also come equipped with a standard vehicle storage system that is designed to be a part of the chair. In large or small scale evacuations or when transporting individual patients this system allows the EMS chairs to be secured in the transport vehicle. With the floor fasteners and wall straps the patient is not required to transfer from the chair to a stretcher or seat in the vehicle, decreasing stress on the patient and the need for additional equipment.