"Invisible" Gap in Most Emergency Preparedness

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month, and as part of the Ready initiative from FEMA, school administrators are preparing for emergency situations with Med Sled, an emergency evacuation device.

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"Invisible" Gap in Most Emergency Preparedness
Business leader uses new design and technology to make products that save lives

ST. LOUIS (August 31, 2009) - September is National Emergency Preparedness Month, and as part of the Ready initiative from FEMA, school administrators are preparing for emergency situations with Med Sled. Med Sled, an emergency evacuation device that allows for one-on-one evacuation of non-ambulatory individuals, is helping schools across the nation prepare for the worst of emergencies in a cost-effective manner.

When a gap exists in emergency preparedness, it sometimes takes a disaster to make it apparent. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August of 2005 it took one major hospital two full days to evacuate its patients. Emergency professionals could not reach them in a timely fashion, the hospital had become a dangerous and life-threatening environment, and the staff had limited and inappropriate equipment with which to move patients. Similar problems occur in many emergencies beyond natural disasters, including smaller-scale challenges in locations such as schools and office buildings.

"The unfortunate fact is that innovations and advances often are prompted by the lessons learned from disasters," says Clifford Adkins, President of ARC Products, a leading manufacturer in evacuation products and systems. "Emergency response strategies require forward-thinking about all contingencies. When disaster strikes, everyone must be prepared and equipped to act. My goal is to help empower regular people-non-professionals-to be capable of evacuating the injured, the disabled or anyone with a mobility issue, when waiting for professional first responders will endanger human life."

There are a number of factors affecting a schools ability to evacuate including the growing rate of childhood obesity and the ease of transporting children with special needs or disabilities.

The Med Sled is used in primary and secondary schools, community colleges and universities across the country.

The Med Sled enables a single person to evacuate a non-ambulatory individual in a quick, stable fashion, over uneven terrain or down a flight of stairs, in a manner that protects the rescuer from typical "lift and carry" injuries. At the foot of the sled, a strap is attached that allows rescue personnel to quickly slide the evacuee to safety. Adkins has introduced the Med Sled evacuation devices into hospitals, nursing homes, fire and EMS, schools and universities, government facilities and military installations.

"At present, we have Med Sleds in over 600 hospitals, schools and government facilities in all 50 states," Adkins noted. " One client, a major metropolitan hospital tested the Med Sled in a Six Sigma process and concluded that it was so easy to use that untrained staff could be trained to use the Med Sled "just in time" if necessary during an emergency without an increased risk to staff or patient."

The Med Sled meets the key criteria for a rescue sled:
· Easy to use
· Lightweight
· Portable
· Durable
· Non-reactive and reusable
· Multiple environments and uneven terrain
· Decontaminable
· Pre-assembled
· Cost effective
· Easily stored

Usually, the Med Sled costs less than other comparable products. It is priced significantly less than evacuation chairs which are typically priced 5 to 10 times higher.

"One of the main strengths of an evacuation tool such as the Med Sled is its versatility in various emergency situations," said Adkins. "Unlike stair chairs or other electric-powered evacuation devices, the Med Sled can be used in some of the most critical situations when there is no power or elevator use."

"The Med Sled is 'user friendly' for non-professionals, versatile and value-priced," noted Adkins. "We designed Med Sled to fill the 'evacuation gap,' to give non-professionals the optimum emergency evacuation tool."

About ARC Products and Med Sled
ARC Products, based in St. Louis, is a national manufacturer of cost-effective evacuation solutions. Since 2004, ARC has been developing products to support disaster preparedness and emergency evacuation. The compact and durable Med Sled uses the 'roll and drag' method to ensure that non-ambulatory individuals are transported safely in emergency situations. Med Sleds are in service in all 50 states and more than six countries in hospitals, nursing homes, fire and EMS, schools and universities, government facilities and military installations. Med Sleds are patent pending, made in America and approved by the GSA. For more information about ARC Products and the Med Sled, visit www.medsled.com or call 1-866-207-6993.

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