Without doubt, the most critical moments in any rescue – and the most physically demanding - include when a casualty on a stretcher has to be lifted, lowered, loaded or unloaded. For around 100 years, Cologne-based Stollenwerk has been offering a wide range of transportation and storage solutions for use by the emergency services. Besides addressing the safety of patients, however, the latest generation of products is also increasingly factoring in user ergonomics. The company is at INTERSCHUTZ 2020 in Hannover to showcase a new stretcher system and loading unit that has been designed to make life easier for emergency workers on a long-term basis.

To achieve its aims, Stollenwerk has resdesigned the stretcher system from the ground up, optimizing it to account specifically for the geodemographic context that rescue workers in central Europe are dealing with day in, day out. Despite setting out to take the strain off users, the designers were determined this should not be at the cost of greater stresses and strains for patients. Their innovative solution is centered around a lift-assist system for up to 320 kilograms, but is still comparatively lightweight. What's more, unlike conventional lift-assist models on the market, the system can still be divided into two parts - a stretcher and a carriage - and can be shortened to a length of 125 centimeters, if required. The loading unit incorporates active patient suspension and a transverse displacement mechanism so the patient can be secured and treated properly in the vehicle. Moreover, the system can also be used to load emergency vehicles that are positioned at an oblique angle to the stretcher system, which is often hard to avoid in emergency scenarios.