FENZ firies build a monowheel mount for stokes litter

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Firies from Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) have developed and built their own monowheel mount for their stokes litter. Having kilometres of difficult to access beach areas along with long narrow access bushwalking trails, Ohope brigade saw the need to make things easier when doing patient retrievals.

Stokes litters are generally designed for one adult-sized person to be lying face up in the basket and rescuers are able to move the casualty over difficult terrain or long distances. The trouble is – it’s bloody hard work sometimes! Walking on sand, uneven surfaces or for long distances takes its toll on rescuers.

Enter, the monowheel!

The device isn’t a permanent fixture. The wheel attaches with rubber pads glued to the top of aluminium runners which give it non slip capabilities – then the stretcher is secured to the frame by two 650kg rated load binders which hook over the main rails.

With this attachment, it will save some energy when undertaking difficult retrievals. Some of these tracks are quite narrow, so side by side carrying is difficult. It can also be used for carrying portable pumps and gear to the bays!

Ohope Volunteer Fire Brigade

The whole monowheel stokes litter mount takes less than a minute to attach, which includes a hydraulic brake lever which clips to the top of the stretcher.

Here is the monowheel in action.

Posted by Ohope Volunteer Fire Brigade on Tuesday, 8 October 2019

It’s always great to see firies putting the thinking cap on and designing or building in house inventions to make the job easier. Just like the tassie firies who built their own Cleveland Roller!

There are similar commercial products available out there, but the brigade being a volunteer station obtained the parts they needed and had the welding done by a local business.

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I founded Flashover to promote Australian Firefighting. I've been a volunteer and a paid firefighter but now I spend my time chasing up leads, promoting good mental health and making the occasional Grumpy Firecom comic!

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