Mountain Rescue Magazine Winter 2021

✒ 59

8-inch – widths: chest 22 1/2-inch, abdomen 22-inch, thigh 21 1/2-inch, calf 20 1/2-inch. Rust-resisting aluminium finish. Individual carton. Shipping weight 34lbs.’ In 2007, a titanium tube option was introduced to reduce weight. A few of these titanium tube basket stretchers have been imported from America for evaluation. These have been manufactured for or by Traverse Rescue located at Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Traverse Rescue is a Ferno Group Company. 2 The Ferno Manufacturing Company (the foundation of the Ferno Group) was established in a rented building by Richard Ferneau in 1955 in Staunton, Ohio. The Ferno headquarters are now based in Wilmington, Ohio. 3 Ferno Manufacturing started life as a manufacturer of cots and stretchers for mortuaries and ambulances. Note that the original ‘Stokes’ design concept of splinting as part of the integral design has lapsed. The mesh is not conformable and there is no facility for individual leg separation and splinting. Similarly, there are no foot plates to provide a casualty with that important sense of comfort, as injuries dictate. Various plastic basket stretchers, designed for short carry, are manufactured in Britain or imported from the USA and Canada. Most mountain rescue teams do not regard these to be general purpose mountain rescue stretchers. THE SKED The Sked is a fold-up stretcher device made in the US. It comes equipped for horizontal hoisting by helicopter, or vertical hoisting in caves or industrial confined spaces. When the casualty is packaged, the stretcher becomes rigid, the durable plastic providing protection for the injured during extrication through confined spaces. Popular with the military, the Sked is available in International Orange or olive green for military, SWAT and other tactical situations. Again, this is not considered a general purpose rescue stretcher. 4 THE STUDENT FACTOR Numerous other stretcher devices have been designed over the years, many as Final Year degree projects. As such, they invariably incorporate novelty but rarely allow for the reality of mountain rescue and the harsh conditions and terrain encountered in the mountain environment. OTHER STRETCHERS A few stretchers have been purpose built for limited applications — for example, a rucksack design which can be deployed as an emergency stretcher. Snowsled Rescue has, for some years, produced a most competent inflatable stretcher, a bit like a large airbed. 5 Numerous designs have evolved for various applications other than remote area

Above: The Stokes Splint Stretcher kit, consisting of the standard splint stretcher, stretcher bridle and wool safety blankets. Above right: Charles F Stokes © Clinedinst, Washington, DC.

rescue or cave rescue but these have not been included in this article. Basically, if it is not a mountain or cave rescue stretcher, then it has not been included here! ✪

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