Evacuation Equipment Choices – the More the Merrier!
For over thirty years now, Spectrum Healthcare and sister Company, Hospital Aids have been advising hospitals on the various options available to them for the swift and safe evacuation of patients, in an emergency.
As UK legislation has developed – Equality Act 2010 and Fire Safety Regulatory Reform Order 2005, most notably – the onus to provide the means of escape has now been passed on to many other types of organisation – in basic terms, anyone who is responsible for the safety of a building’s occupants, whether they are would be able to walk to safety, unaided or if they would need assistance.
The most obvious market for the various types of evacuation devices is still hospitals (NHS & Private), hospices & care homes where a higher proportion of occupants than in other establishments are likely to need assistance in an emergency, however, a greater number of schools, universities & other publicly accessible facilities appear to be requesting demonstrations.
Spectrum believes that offering a wide range of evacuation options is essential, which is why as a Company they are constantly striving to find solutions for people with different needs when it comes down to practicality & comfort, if an evacuation becomes necessary.
In the last couple of years, concerns about the physical size of the UK (and worldwide) population has prompted the development of the Bariatric EvacMat and systems to cope with the emergency movement of patients who may weigh as much as 50 to 60 stones. This has resulted in Spectrum’s engagement with hospitals, fire & rescue services & ambulance services as well as specialists advising on the potential clinical need of such patients.
Another project underway is to offer solutions to move patients who would need to remain rigid during an evacuation (spinal patients, hip replacement patients etc.) and this is an area where Spectrum would hope to have an additional solution available to hospitals, before the end of 2013.
The provision of equipment is all well and good but unless the staff are adequately & regularly trained to use it safely and with confidence it presents additional potential dangers that Spectrum believe need to eliminated.
In many areas of education these days, certain product providers are intimating that e-training & e-learning is an acceptable substitute for “hands-on” training and Spectrum believe that this is not the case and that it should only be used alongside a rigorous & regular physical training regime!
Spectrum offer comprehensive training and product demonstrations on all of their product range from Ski Sheets (for mattress evacuation), through their “free-standing” device range, such as AlbacMats, ResQmats, Ski Pads, Ski Sleds, up to the Bariatric EvacMat and Evacuation Chairs.
There is no doubt that UK legislation “leads the way” when it comes to the safety of patients/residents and with the spread of similar legislation around the world, Spectrum are leading the way into international markets with their innovative range of products.