City council authorizes purchase of two aid vehicle motorized stretchers

Units are expected to be in service in June.

Following a presentation by Mercer Island Fire Department interim deputy chief Doug McDonald on April 5, city council unanimously voted to authorize the purchase of a pair of aid vehicle motorized stretchers to replace the manual-lifting units currently in use.

Ground Emergency Medical Transport (GEMT) revenue for the two Stryker cot stretchers for aid vehicles 192 and 193 will total $118,154. Vehicle 192 serves the south end of the Island and vehicle 193 is the department’s reserve aid car.

McDonald, who was joined at the meeting by interim fire chief Jeff Clark, said the department has already purchased a stretcher this year for its new aid vehicle, which will replace the current one and be available for use in 2023. Vehicle 191 serves the north end and is based out of the department’s headquarters.

Next up, city staff will order the stretchers and they are expected to be delivered in late May of 2022 and be available for service in June of this year, according to city documents.

McDonald noted that current stretchers have met the end of their useful life and expose firefighters to potential back injuries through manual lifting during patient care and transport.

The new electrical and battery-powered stretchers — which are mounted in the back of aid vehicles — will support up to 500 pounds, have an expected service life of seven years and will provide department personnel smooth and effortless loading of patients, he said.

“That’s ultimately what we’re really concerned about is making sure when we’re transporting patients that have orthopedic or other related injuries like that, that we give them as easy and smooth of a ride to the hospital, and this will greatly enhance that,” McDonald added.

Departments such as Eastside Fire and Rescue and the Bellevue Fire Department utilize Strykers, which can be removed and placed in future aid vehicle replacements, city documents note.


* The city’s annual spring recycling collection event was a success on March 26 at the Luther Burbank Park south parking lot.

According to the city’s contractor, 556 vehicles rolled through the event, carrying a total of 53,080 pounds of discarded material. Collections included 24,660 pounds of appliances, scrap metal and electronics; 14,220 pounds of confidential paper shredded onsite; 5,340 household batteries; and 6,760 pounds of cardboard.

Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Foundation volunteers collected food gift cards and donations totaling $4,350 to benefit the city’s food pantry.

* Construction is underway to upgrade four miles of the King County Water Treatment Division’s aging and near-capacity sewer pipeline across north Mercer Island and southwest Bellevue. County workers will also upgrade the North Mercer Pump Station and the city’s Lift Station 11 at Fruitland Landing. The project will involve years of construction.