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Insights on Innovation
by Dan White

Ferno's self-loading stretcher eases load on EMTs

The iN/X or Ferno Integrated Patient Transport and Loading System provides weight support for smooth transitions that both your patients, and your back, will appreciate

At the EMS State of the Sciences Conferences, held in Dallas, Texas, I saw a new innovation in patient transportation: the Ferno Integrated Patient Transport and Loading System (iN/X).

The iN/X is the first of its kind: a powered self-loading stretcher. Watching it being put through its paces at the conference was astounding. Everyone in the room knew they were looking at the next big thing in EMS.

The iN/X has elegant, futuristic lines and a slick tricolor paint scheme. The legs look like a robotic hover-cot of the future or something seen in a science fiction movie. Both the sides and critical area under the front wheels are illuminated.

The iN/X's biggest update is an independent operator control of the front and rear wheels. This lets the stretcher support the patient during every phase of loading and unloading. Gone is the need to support the end of the stretcher while the entire undercarriage goes up or down. Instead, the stretcher has load support wheels under the center of the frame which provide weight support during transitions.

Ferno demonstrated at the show how smoothly the stretcher handles little obstacles like a curb. The transition from one surface to another of different height is almost effortless.

The iN/X has better ergonomics and advanced functionality. Back injuries are a major cause of lost man-hours and career productivity. The iN/X will reduce repetitive load stresses on staff. It also dramatically reduces jarring to a patient.

The entire system was also designed to be safer in a crash, and meets the safety requirements of tomorrow in multiple countries. This will allow broader adoption and extend useful field life.

You also won’t need to change batteries. The iN/X’s power management system is built into the mounting system. It charges the batteries on the stretcher whenever it is loaded and in contact with the mount.

All these features taken together will change how EMS providers do their job and extend how long they can do it.

About the author

Dan White, EMT-P works for Intersurgical, Inc. as the National Account Manager for EMS. Immediately prior he ran Arasan, LLC. He served as Sales & Marketing Director for Truphatek, Inc. and before that Director of Corporate Planning & Product Development for AllMed. He has been certified as a paramedic since 1978 and an EMS and ACLS instructor since 1981. Dan has designed many emergency medical products since his first, the White Pulmonary Resuscitator, including the Prolite Speedboad, Cook Needle Decompression Kit and RapTag Triage System. His more recent EMS product designs are the Arasan Ultra EMS Coat and the B2 Paramedic Helmet. To contact Dan, email

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BEARiatrics Inc. BEARiatrics Inc. Wednesday, April 16, 2014 11:27:35 AM This is the best thing since sliced bread..... With a BEAR on the top from BEAR-iatrics, it makes a perfect cot for transporting large obese patients. Thanks FERNO for coming up with another great product.
Ryan Elm Ryan Elm Wednesday, April 16, 2014 1:44:28 PM Great concept. How much?
Paul Russell Sr Paul Russell Sr Thursday, April 17, 2014 1:05:54 PM Would have been nice years ago to load the lard asses an fat butts. Will save a lot of backs in future.
Paul Russell Sr Paul Russell Sr Thursday, April 17, 2014 1:07:24 PM Some providers will be too cheap to buy one but in the long run pay for it or loss people to injurys an slick lawyers.
Eric Lahaman Astillero Eric Lahaman Astillero Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:03:19 PM why is there no siderails on the new ferno stretchers?
Mark Warriner Mark Warriner Tuesday, April 29, 2014 3:57:43 PM I hope they have modified the safety side if the battery fails. I had a severe back injury with a 450# female, when the battery failed and the wheels wouldn't drop and lock! Ferno sent out someone to look at it, and found other issues. I hope they learned from their mistakes. This was one of their 1st power prams, not this model.
Daniel Katzenstein Daniel Katzenstein Friday, May 02, 2014 2:51:00 AM Why don't they just drive themselves to the hospital already. The things got wheels, a motor, headlights and a patient.
George Brooks Jr. George Brooks Jr. Friday, May 02, 2014 10:37:16 AM Stryker has made something similar for years and I'll tell you what a back saver. It lifts over 700 pounds with the touch of a finger. It's wonderfull
Kelly Vieira Kelly Vieira Friday, May 02, 2014 11:55:50 AM The stryker system looks far superior to this........I can see confusions resulting in injuries and you are still supporting weight at what looks like an awkward height for shorter people.....nice try ferno but head on back to the drawing board.
Chanda Gravitt Chanda Gravitt Friday, May 02, 2014 3:48:28 PM Have you actually used the Ferno yet? We use the battery operated Strykers and while they're nice, this one has added features that I'd like to try out first hand before passing any negative judgment on the Ferno model. Anything that will help save a back (read career) is worth investigating in my book.
Kelly Vieira Kelly Vieira Friday, May 02, 2014 8:22:03 PM I have not used the ferno's but it doesn't take much to see the obvious difference between the 2. With the power load system its zero effort, the ferno, your back and arms are still doing most of the work.
Dawn Poetter Dawn Poetter Sunday, May 04, 2014 8:54:14 AM How much does it fast does it move in an emergency? how low to the ground does it go...the questions go on and on...and I'm short.....oh and how many batteries will it go through a day? I'm thinking a
Norma Hartson Norma Hartson Sunday, May 04, 2014 9:03:24 AM WOW! Just think how meany backs that this could save if it really works out.
Douglas Cremeans Douglas Cremeans Sunday, May 04, 2014 9:45:20 AM I just watched this video, and the ferno system looks pretty cool. the stryker system is by far, the cats meow. downside to the ferno, taking the extra time to lower the legs and raise the legs going up and down stairs...this would be a good system for a private ambulance system...not a 911 fire/ems system
Nick Sines Nick Sines Sunday, May 04, 2014 10:17:35 AM I wanna see what it looks like with a 3 - 400lb pt on it! looks narrow to me.
Brandon LaRosa Brandon LaRosa Sunday, May 04, 2014 11:38:06 AM we have them it is the only way to go. it lifts anything
Brandon LaRosa Brandon LaRosa Sunday, May 04, 2014 11:38:24 AM the only problem is it makes paramedics even softer
Brandon LaRosa Brandon LaRosa Sunday, May 04, 2014 11:41:31 AM actually we have this not ferno
Dawn Poetter Dawn Poetter Sunday, May 04, 2014 1:22:54 PM We have that too Brandon...It's the other Ferno I have questions about ;-)
Grant White Grant White Sunday, May 04, 2014 10:55:49 PM How is this the first of its kind if stryker have had the power pro out for ages?
Ian Cunningham Ian Cunningham Sunday, May 04, 2014 11:52:36 PM Have a look at the Stryker Stretcher has very similar with self loading
Ferno EMS Ferno EMS Monday, May 05, 2014 12:10:37 PM All great questions. The iN/X holds up to 700 lbs, comes with a charging system so once the iN/X is back in the ambulance it's automatically charging (if not...20-25 runs) and we had people under 5'0 loading 300+ at FDIC. Don't just take our word for it...try it out.
Douglas Cremeans Douglas Cremeans Monday, May 05, 2014 12:21:19 PM you still have to bear weight while going up and or down stairs....correct? makes it an nice cot for non-emergent pt transfers, but when out on a "need to get moving pt" it seems this would be a hassle...
Dave Aber Dave Aber Wednesday, May 07, 2014 5:02:17 AM You should not be taking a loaded stretcher up and down stairs. Thats what other devices are used for. But with the independent legs of this stretcher, you can maneuver over obstacles that you would normally have to lift over without bearing the weight of a loaded stretcher.
Dave Aber Dave Aber Wednesday, May 07, 2014 5:04:15 AM I like the telescoping handles that still allow you to raise and lower. This gives you options for patients that are tall or provider comfort for loading.
Dave Aber Dave Aber Wednesday, May 07, 2014 5:10:10 AM You really cannot appreciate it until you use it. Minimal weight on arms and back when loading as you are just guiding the unit into the ambulance.
Douglas Cremeans Douglas Cremeans Wednesday, May 07, 2014 7:05:46 AM I completely agree with not taking stretchers up and down stairs...but then again, if you have to use a reeves to get a 350 lbs'er down the stairs due to being in full arrest, whats the saving grace of having a no weight bearing easy load stretcher...?
Kelly Vieira Kelly Vieira Thursday, May 08, 2014 12:07:22 PM All I am saying is I would take zero load on your arms and back verses minimal load. The title of this article is misleading as well, nothing about this set up is "self-loading"

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