Former Rotary lightens EMS load

Matt and Amanda Crawford demonstrating one of the new Stair Chair lifts that Upshur County EMS was able to purchase with the donation they received from the former Buckhannon Rotary Club earlier this year.

BUCKHANNON — The workloads of local EMS workers were literally lightened thanks to the former Buckhannon Rotary Club’s generous donation earlier this year. Upshur EMS was able to utilize the funds they received to purchase three invaluable pieces of equipment known as Stair Chairs. According to EMS Director Gloria Burr, the new Stair Chairs will not only help lighten the load for workers, but also give patients a more secure trip up and down steps.

Back on July 31, the now disbanded Buckhannon Rotary Club surprised all of the county’s first responders with sizeable donation checks at the Upshur County Fire Board meeting.  The former club had to disperse all of their funds prior to starting a new charter, so all of the county’s emergency services and schools benefited greatly from Rotary’s benevolence. 

Matt and Amanda Crawford eagerly provided a demonstration to show the amazing difference in the ease and comfort of the new battery-operated Stair Chairs.  The new motorized Stair Chairs operate on a track similar to a dozer, making light work of moving a patient up and down stairs.  Not only do the new lifting devices make it far easier for the workers moving patients, but it also feels much more stable and secure to the patient. After sitting in both, there was simply no comparison between the old and new version of Stair Chairs. 

Burr said while their call volume varies, Upshur EMS answered a whopping 35 calls in one single day last year.  As one could imagine, all that lifting takes quite a toll on EMT workers.  Amanda Crawford was very grateful to begin using the new Stair Chairs and stated, “These are going to save our backs and serve our community better.” 

Employees completed their in-service training on the new equipment in September, so the Stair Chairs are now being put to good use in three of the county’s emergency vehicles.  Burr and all the employees of Upshur EMS are extremely thankful to the former Rotary for their generous donation that will benefit the community for years to come. 


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