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Case Study

Lakeland FL Firefighters Use New Equipment to Rescue Citizen from Muddy Ravine

Light-bulb goes off and paramedic realizes he has the perfect tool for the job.

Lakeland Firefighters

The Situation

After receiving a 911 call, dispatch sent a Lakeland Fire Department Rescue Unit to respond to a fall victim in a 55+ mobile home community. While en route dispatch received additional information and the responders learned this wasn’t an average citizen lift assist call.

While taking a walk the elderly citizen fell, sliding down a muddy embankment into a stream below. When learning of this unique rescue scenario additional resources, including Lt. Chilton’s Engine, were dispatched.

The rescue arrived first and determined the patient wasn’t injured, he just couldn’t get out of the situation he was in”, recounts Chilton. He immediately began thinking of resources they had that may help. Using a ladder wasn’t ideal because of the patient’s limited mobility, and carrying the patient on a backboard would be strenuous on his team and traumatic for the patient.

That’s when a light bulb went off and he remembered the Binder Lift had recently been added to his apparatus. “We were able to easily put it around him and used the handles to help him up the embankment” says Chilton, “it was a very simple, easy, and a safe way to get him out of there.


“I know that it’s safer: my gut tells me; my experience tells me; it’s safer for patients and our firefighters”

Shane Reynolds, Rescue Chief

The Binder Lift Difference

Rescue Chief Shane Reynolds chairs the department’s physical health committee and they are always on the lookout for ways to make lifting patients safer for their firefighters. After being introduced to the Binder Lift by Assistant Chief Hartzog, Reynolds knew this was the solution they needed.

Though they had Megamovers - a soft stretcher device used for carrying or sliding non-ambulatory patients - it fell short when used for lifting and assisting patients. “My goal is to give them a way to get better body mechanics when lifting all sized patients” said Reynolds. It is nearly impossible to lift with proper body mechanics when there is no handle to grasp, and unfortunately, humans don’t come with handles. But now, Lakeland firefighters can bring their own.

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