Various disabilities are quite commonplace among the population of this planet today, not just here in the United States but truly all throughout the world as a whole. In fact, more than one billion people have some type of disability all throughout the world. Here in the United States, disabilities are also widespread, affecting people of all different ages, genders, and backgrounds. Some disabilities present relatively mildly and have little impact on the overall lives of those who deal with them. Some disabilities, on the other hand, are much more debilitating, severely restricting movement or cognitive function.
For such people, mobility aids and various other forms of assistance will be necessary, and some of these people (though certainly not all of them) will either live in some type of care facility or will rely on the help of family members and loved ones to ensure that they are safe, happy, and healthy. For such people who struggle to move freely in the world, safety matters might look a little bit different. Such is the case with fire presentation and evacuations, with such tools as an evacuation wheelchair or handicap escape chair often become quite necessary indeed.
After all, fires are more commonplace than many people realize, especially at various healthcare facilities all throughout the country. In the years between 2011 and 2015 alone, for a matter of fact, a span of time that was less than even half of a decade, more than 5,000 fires broke out in various healthcare facilities. Many of the patients inside had a number of mobility problems, either due to disability, illness, or injury. Evacuating such patients often became essential, but being able to do so is likely only possible with the help of the typical evacuation wheelchair. If an evacuation wheelchair specifically is not available, other types of escape chairs should be readily available.
Unfortunately, far too few of these healthcare facilities had the handicap escape chairs necessary. In fact, some of them might have one evacuation wheelchair (or other type of evacuation chair if an evacuation wheelchair is not available) but far too few of them to really do the job that’s necessary. When this is the case, the end result can be tragic, something that is sadly backed up by the data that has been gathered on the subject.
This data shows that the fires occurring between the same time span mentioned above actually ended up resulting in two deaths and more than 115 civilian injuries. These injuries are sometimes mild, but were all too often quite severe indeed. Burns can be incredibly difficult and painful to recover from, something that is very well known in the medical field. When patients in these medical facilities are not evacuated as quickly as they should be, these injuries become all more likely to occur when a fire breaks out.
And it’s also documented that most of the fire service’s typical work is not actually spent dealing with fire but with matters of medical aid instead. As a matter of fact, around 64% of all responses by the typical fire prevention service and fire service in general is spent on providing medical aid to victims of a fire in addition to putting out the fire itself as quickly as is possible. Here in the United States, this point to a severe lack of resources for evacuation people, especially disabled people or medical patients in varying impaired conditions.
There are a number of things likely to be hugely instrumental in improving this. For one thing, the use of an evacuation wheelchair or other such evac chair in facilities where this is necessary can be hugely beneficial, for even one evacuation wheelchair can help to keep people safe when they are not able to evaluate themselves. However, more than just one evacuation wheelchair or other such evacuation chair for disabled people is likely to be quite necessary indeed.
Of course, having a comprehensive evacuation plan is just as essential as having the evacuation chair. For most such hospital facilities, having an evacuation wheelchair without an evacuation plan firmly put into place will unfortunately not likely be very helpful or useful at all.