Evacuation sleds keep Creston long-term care patients ready to move

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An Evacusled demonstration at Swan Valley Lodge.

An Evacusled demonstration at Swan Valley Lodge.

There is never a good time for a mass evacuation, but if it happens, it’s best to be prepared. In a residential care facility, residents are often faced with barriers around mobility. Evacuating residents must be done quickly and safely.

A recent installment of 22 Evacusleds at Swan Valley Lodge in Creston now provides residents on the second floor with devices that will ensure a quick and safe exit from the building in the event of an emergency.

“Before receiving the Evacusleds, we were given instruction on how to evacuate residents using the ‘get me out of here’ model, which uses techniques such as: evacuation with a wheelchair, transfers from bed to wheelchair or floor, moving along the floor, moving down stairs, and universal chair lift,” said nurse Benjamin Bellows. “With these new devices, one staff member can safely evacuate one resident in only a few minutes.”

Bellows attended an Evacusled demonstration in Kelowna two years ago and has since trained about 20 other staff. He says training is fun, quick, and easy to remember. In 30 minutes, two staff can be trained to deploy the device — a much more efficient system than “get me out of here”, which takes nearly a full day of instruction.

Evacusleds are installed at sites around the Interior Health Authority and ensure the safety of patients in the event of an emergency.