Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Praxis: Casualty Evacuation -- a lightweight solution.

World War II Furley-type USGI stretchers.
Back in May of 2011 I wrote a praxis piece on "Litter Evacuation. No conflict comes without casualties." It has lots of handy links in it, as well.
Talon II 90C tactical combat stretcher
Here in the Vanderboegh household we have two of the old Furley-type rigid wooden and canvas stretchers, circa 1970s production, stashed up in the garage where the mice can't get 'em, as well as a North American Rescue Talon II 90C tactical combat stretcher that I picked up for a song of a trade at a gun show a while back. The problem with these types is their weight and bulk.
Talon II 90C folded up in backpack carrier.
The Furley-types cannot be folded lengthwise, are about 90 inches long and weigh about 15 pounds. The Talon folds up nicely but weighs about 16.5 pounds.
One solution is to go to pole-less litters. Above is a a Blackhawk Rapid Flex Medical Litter Here are the specs:
• Heavy-duty, impermeable PVC tarpaulin material
• Six durable 2” nylon web loop handles (two carry handles on each side and one drag handle at each end)
• Combined strength of all four handles exceeds 1700 lbs.
• Drag weight exceeds 1600 lbs.
• Stabilizing torso strap is constructed of 2” nylon webbing and adjusts to 76” with side-release buckle
• Dimensions (rolled): 4”D x 20”W
• Dimensions (open): 20”W x 44”L
• Weight (empty): 2.25 lbs.
MSRP: $48.99
Another is the Stingray Poleless Litter from North American Rescue.
1. Constructed of non-skid, flame-retardant monofilament polypropylene fabric
2. Resistant to mildew, acids, alkalis and penetration liquids
3. Tested by Federal & private labs using live warfare agents
4. 6 heavy-duty carrying handles
5. 2 casualty securing straps
6. Made for decontamination rollers
Constructed with a non-skid, flame-retardant monofilament polypropylene material, the Stingray® Poleless Litter features two web straps to secure the litter around the body and six heavy-duty handles make it easy to carry. This design allows rescuers to insert a 2 in. pole, such as pike poles, through the litter cover or to use debris through the outer handles. The Stingray® is ideal for decontamination roller systems and moving wet patients.
The Stingray® is tested and approved by both Federal and private laboratories using live warfare agents.
MSRP: $83.01
The Stingray weighs five pounds.
These are two lightweight solutions to the casualty evacuation problem. And do remember that no conflict comes without casualties. Think through and prepare now for what we pray never happens.


Maddawg308 said...

I have some Vietnam era canvas stretchers put away, mostly because I'm into old military vehicles, but they are handy to have around just in case.

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned, Skedco offers the BEST military stretcher, hands down. One of the few you can rig for helicopter or high angle extraction.


Anonymous said...

quote: "Here in the Vanderboegh household we have two of the old Furley-type rigid wooden and canvas stretchers," unquote

I sure hope you they don't have to serve in the event you have to go to the hospital in an emergency Mike! And my prayers are still with you daily..but man.. at least your family can carry you out to a vehicle if need be.

Anonymous said...

I picked up a litter at a surplus store 10-15 years ago that pulls apart so it can fold in half. It's a real booger to reassemble but once fully unfolded makes for a nice sleeping cot. Did use an old camp cot to sleep on while an ice storm killed the power for several days. Put the cot in my bathroom (smallest room in the house) where a Coleman lantern provided heat (15 minutes of light provided enough heat for several hours sleep). These cots/stretchers DO come in handy.

Anonymous said...

Folks, the old canvas in some of those stretchers may be rotted....load test them to see if they can withstand a persons weight, before you drop a patient.

Also, those stretchers are not exactly great for anyone with a spinal injury.

Anonymous said...


Too bad it's bright orange.

MamaLiberty said...

In a situation where a regular "stretcher" was not available, one can construct a travois. Two boards, tree limbs, whatever, joined at one end with rope, shoe laces, anything... and covered with canvas, cloth, coats, whatever on the broad end... Tricky, difficult to maneuver and awkward to pull over uneven ground... but it beats the heck out of trying to carry an injured person on your back.