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An alliance of Utah students and entrepreneurs has created an innovative way to address a problem that has long plagued firefighters and rescue personnel. And, soon, Utah firefighters and EMTs will have the opportunity to test the new product in the field.
Supported by BioInnovations Gateway, Utah-based companies Zien Medical Technologies and EZ Lift Rescue Systems, Inc. have developed the EZ Life Rescue System, a reinvention of the traditional rescue backboard that will better protect EMTs from back injuries.
EZ Lift will delivered its first round of rescue systems to the Sandy Fire Department yesterday morning.
The idea for the new backboard came from Utah emergency room doctor, Robert Heck, who turned to Zien Medial Technologies for help creating the new product. Zien is housed at BioInnovations Gateway, a business incubator funded in part by the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative that partners high school students with start-up companies.
The result is a high-tech rescue backboard that is much more comfortable for patients and more easily lifted and carried by rescue personnel.
“This product would not be going to Sandy before next year in any other manufacturing environment,” said David Robinson, president of EZ Lift Rescue Systems, Inc. “We are a microcosm of what the visionaries behind USTAR set out to accomplish – encouraging innovation, education and small business growth within the state of Utah.”
The Sandy Fire Department will be the first agency in Utah to use the EZ Lift system in the field. Additional clients include the City of San Francisco and major national ambulance companies.
“This is more than just a commercial product, this really could save the backs – and the careers – of our rescuers,” said Tim Norris, training division captain for the Sandy Fire Department. “It is also unique in that it was envisioned, designed and manufactured right in here our community.”