Rough Mississippi Ambulance Ride Prompts Review of Ambulance Retro-Fit

County considers retro-fit with “air-ride” suspension.


 
 

HENRY BAILEY, The Commercial Appeal | | Friday, February 10, 2012


Odie Lofton lauds emergency officials for their quick action when he called Jan. 7 for help after finding his wife, Mary Lou, unconscious on the floor.

"The response time was great; everyone was very professional," said Lofton, 81.

It was the ambulance ride from his home in the Forest Meadows Subdivision in Hernando to Baptist Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven, with his wife strapped on her back to a gurney board, that riles him.

"That ambulance has the same springs as a truck," the advocate of air-ride vehicles told DeSoto County supervisors this week. "Every second she was strapped to that board was pure agony for my wife."

Lofton's wife suffers from lupus, arthritis and fibromyalgia.

In response to Lofton's urging and that of Supervisor Jessie Medlin, president of the board, county Emergency Management director Bobby Storey will look into air-ride vehicles or retrofits, although he cautions that costs are high and ride comfort may fall short of expectations.

"Air-ride" is a type of suspension, often used in heavy vehicles such as buses and trucks, powered by an engine-driven or electric air pump or compressor. The pump pressurizes the air, using compressed air as a "spring" in place of conventional steel devices. The aim of air suspension is smooth, constant ride quality, with self-leveling.

"I firmly believe the only way the county can give citizens the service they deserve in cases like mine is to provide air-ride systems," Lofton said.

Storey said the county has in its inventory "one ambulance with air-ride suspension, and it's caused us some problems." Among these, he said, "is when it comes down, it stays down."

Also, he said, retrofitting "just the rear" of the eight or nine ambulances across the county with air-ride would cost about $12,500 each.

Lofton said he also regretted that responders had to strap his wife onto the gurney: "All feet don't fit into one pair of shoes."

Storey said the procedure is the emergency protocol where X-rays and other diagnostic tools are unavailable or impractical.

"I agree 100 percent with what Odie says on discomfort, but I'm not sure air-ride will solve our problems 100 percent," Storey said of his longtime family friend. Still, the emergency chief says he'll look anew at providers "and see who offers the best ride."

"Just because we have one that doesn't work doesn't mean we'd get others that won't work," Storey said.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, EMS vehicle, ambulance

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

REMSA Programs Helps Reduce Hospital Visits

Community paramedic effort goes into service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

City Official Challenges San Francisco Fire Chief

Ambulance response times among problems noted by city supervisor.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Crash

Victoria ambulance collides with civilian vehicle.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Medics Ditch Pants for Kilts

“Real men do wear kilts.”
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >