Buddy Pro makes rapid evacuation easier and safer

Device can move patients with less manpower, improved maneuverability and potentially fewer back injuries

I recently received a sample of Easy Rescue's Buddy Pro. This innovative patient handling device promises to make rapid evacuation easier and safer. The vast majority of EMS patients do not need to be transported lying down. The Buddy Pro can move these people with less manpower, improved maneuverability and potentially fewer back injuries.

It is based on its entry-level model, the Buddy. All of Easy Rescue's products are different versions of the same concept: a two-man evacuation harness. It is like a compact fabric folding seat with carry handles and two robust shoulder straps. The additional feature of the Pro model is that it can also be used as a fabric stretcher with the patient lying down.

Instead of needing to hold all the weight with your hands, you carry it from your shoulders and use leg power. Position the victim on the seat, and strap them in. Then with one rescuer on both sides, you secure the heavy-duty straps across your outside shoulder. You lift with your legs and then make one last strap length adjustment by pulling down on the end of the shoulder strap. Then you are good to go almost anywhere. 

I was surprised how easy it was to use. I was also amazed how you can operate and move around with your hands free if need be. This would be a huge advantage on rugged ground or when you need to open a door. Two people can carry a patient through narrow passages or on uneven terrain where a stair chair will not function. What I really like is the low weight and compact storage dimensions.

It only weighs just over two pounds and is the size of a phone book. You can leave it on the stretcher net at the head end. When somebody needs to be moved out, you just grab the Buddy Pro and go get them down from the second story. It can always be with you.

I think it is perfect for rural agencies that often need to move patients across uneven terrain. I also see huge potential for improving MCI management. During a disaster with many people needing evacuation, Buddy will be a force multiplier. Earthquakes, floods, fires, and the battlefield are all challenges the Buddy is built for.

It was developed in Israel with help from the IDF. Like most other Israeli products, it is brilliantly engineered and of exceptional quality construction. The IDF really liked the hands-free potential. This allows two soldiers to carry a third while operating their weapons if need be.

My only fear about it proved unfounded. I was worried I wouldn't be able to fold it back up right and put it away in the tiny bag. I have always been challenged folding up and storing a Spider Strap. To my surprise it was real easy to pack it back up. The bag is sewn right to the Buddy, so you can't lose it.

Check out the YouTube video for more information and a demonstration.

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