When carrying a casualty to the side or foot of a bed. When loading a casualty into an ambulance. Carry the casualty down stairs head first if the lower limbs are injured. Keeping their backs straight, all the bearers should squat and grasp the handles with their inner hands, palms inwards. On the order “lift”. All rise together, holding the stretcher with arms fully extended and keeping it level.
When the patient has been placed on the stretcher the bearers should take tip their positions at each end of the stretcher. At least two trained bearers will be required to carry a stretcher and the person in charge of the casualty should always remain at the casualty’s head. If bystanders are available they should be used to help carry the stretcher to spread the load.
However, there should be at least one trained bearer at each end of the stretcher. Unless a casualty is suffering from shock, the head should be kept higher than the feet. So as a general rule the casualty should always be carried feet first. However, there are a few exceptions: When going up stairs or hills when the lower limbs are not injured. When going down stairs or hills, when the casualty’s lower limbs are injured or the casualty is suffering from hypothermia as shown in Nurse Call Systems .
At the order advance, move off together but walk out of step to avoid bouncing the stretcher. When you reach the ambulance, working together, gently and evenly lower the stretcher to the ground with the casualty’s head nearest the ambulance.
A few ambulances have flat built – in beds with grooves to take the runners of a standard stretcher. Three people will be required to load an ambulance that does not have a self loading stretcher system. The three people will be placed as follows: One to stand on either side of the stretcher and one inside to receive and guide the stretcher into place and secure the stretcher. If there are only two berths, always load the left one first.
If loading a trolley bed into an ambulance, two bearers should take up their positions, one on each side of the trolley bed. Working together, raise the trolley bed to the required height and carry it head first into the ambulance as shown in Nurse Call Systems.
One bearer takes hold of the handles at the rear and gently withdraws the stretcher. As it is withdrawn a second bearer takes up position on the opposite side to the first bearer. (Bearers facing each other) when both have firm grip, the stretcher is withdrawn and once clear of the ambulance, is lowered to the ground.