MAHOPAC, N.Y. - A $50,000 state grant has been awarded to the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) for the purchase of a state-of-the-art stretcher system and gurney for its emergency response vehicle.

The awarded grant funding, secured by state Sen. Pete Harckham within the State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM), will reimburse the department for total costs associated with the purchase and installation of a Stryker Power-LOAD fastening system and a new, corresponding gurney. The Power-LOAD has a battery-sourced hydraulic system that raises and lowers the gurney for easier loading and unloading of patients.

“Making sure that our first responders have advanced up-to-date equipment to do their jobs and ensure the safety and well-being of our residents is a top priority of mine,” Harckham. “The Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department serves a busy district, and the said. “Funding for the new stretcher and loading system will benefit both the first responders and residents. I am happy to have helped gain this important investment for the community while also alleviating some of the financial burden on the town’s taxpayers.”

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The loading and lifting capacities of the new emergency patient transport equipment will help reduce debilitating back injuries for emergency medical services (EMS) first responders and caregivers.

“The power stretcher system, both the lift and gurney, will offer safety benefits to patients and first responders,” said Chris Pfaffenberger, a Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department commissioner. “It also allows one crew member to lift a patient into the emergency vehicle—a real plus when you don’t have an extra crew member on board to help with the lifting. So, this is an important asset for the department.”

The Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department answered over 1,000 calls last year, fire and EMS included, out of three different stations. The department’s district covers approximately 14 square miles and is home to about 14,000 residents.

SAM funding is among the grant programs administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) to support community and economic development.

Article provided by Sen. Harckham’s office