Emergency preparedness is hugely important, for residential buildings as well as for commercial ones. If emergency preparedness measures are not put into place, the door is opened up for tragedy and even the loss of life. When it comes to the healthcare facilities that are spread out through the United States, these measures of emergency preparedness are particularly important, especially because many of those staying at or living in a healthcare facility will not have full mobility and will be in need of a handicap escape chair, often referred to simply as escape chairs, in order to safely exit the building.
When it comes to the fires that happen here in the United States, healthcare facilities certainly have their fair share of them. In fact, all around the country more than five thousand and seven hundred fires broke out in various types of healthcare facilities in the mere four years between the year of 2011 and the year of 2015. These fires often left behind them devastation, causing more than fifty billion dollars in damages alone. Unfortunately, injuries were also sustained, with more than one hundred and fifty civilians reporting an injury or even requiring medical treatment after a fire took place in a healthcare facility. Unfortunately, a few lives were also lost due to fires throughout these four years. Between the year of 2011 and the year of 2015, two people lost their lives in direct correlation to a fire that took place in a healthcare facility.
For people who identify themselves as disabled, as more than fifteen percent of the entire population of the world currently does, evacuating in the event of a fire can be particularly difficult and pose quite a challenge. If proper modes of evacuation are not in place, it is easy for a fire, even a small one, to pose a substantial risk to the health and lives of many people currently living or staying in various healthcare facilities around the country. Not only must a drill be in place and practiced on a regular basis, but the proper tools of transport for disabled patients should also be utilized.
An escape chair, for instance, is a common tool. Escape chairs, often known as handicap ems chairs or handicap evacuation chairs, play an important role in the evacuation of any given healthcare facility. Escape chairs can provide a safe and effective way for disabled or very sick patients (who might not have the strength to get themselves outside and far away from the harmful path of the fire) out of harms way and out of the healthcare center entirely. Escape chairs can, in this way, help to prevent potentially severe injury and can even help to save lives.
Of course, it is highly important that escape chairs are only handled by well trained professionals. If escape chairs are handled in a way that they shouldn’t be, the chance of such disabled or extremely ill or injured patients being transported safely falls dramatically. Escape chairs are meant to increase safety, not take away from it. Training staff members to safely use escape chairs is one way to combat this potential issue and it also means that anyone who works in the healthcare facility will be able to competently handle an escape chair and not need to look around for someone that does in the case of an emergency. This is incredibly important for saving time during an emergency even and, as many of us are all too aware of, saving time is an essential thing when dealing with an emergency situation such as a fire that has broken out.
Patients, if they are able to, should also be trained in the use of escape chairs. If they can help the healthcare professionals to navigate getting their body inside of said escape chairs, than it is likely that they will be able to get out of the building and out of harms way as quickly as is humanly possible. However, many patients will not be able to do so, as some patients suffer from severe disabilities that restrict the vast majority of their movements. In these cases, staff members should be trained in using escape chairs all on their own – as well as building up the necessary strength.