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close this bookDisaster Rescue - Australian Emergency Manual (Natural Disaster Organization, 183 p.)
close this folderStretchers
close this folderImprovised Stretchers
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentDoors (Figure 5:13)
View the documentBlankets (Figure 5:14)
View the documentBags (Figure 5:15)
View the documentOvercoats (Figure 5:16)
View the documentLadders (Figure 5:17)
View the documentOther Methods (Figures 5:18 & 5:19)


5.16 Improvised Stretchers

In any disaster, there may be insufficient stretchers for the number of casualties involved.

There are many methods of improvisation and some imagination should be used when confronted with the problem. However, a number of the more obvious methods are described.

Doors (Figure 5:13)

5.17 Doors (Figure 5:13)

Suitable doors may be used as improvised stretchers.

Blanketing is exactly the same as for the folding stretcher. The lashing however requires a slight modification. Two methods can be used:

Method 1:

Bore two holes at one end of the door adjacent to the position for the casualty's head. Commence the lashing by tying the rope end through one hole. The casualty is then lashed in the normal manner as shown in Figure 5:13, and the lashing is finished by tying through the remaining hole.

Fig 5:13

Method 2:

Take a round turn around the head end of the door and secure the running end of the lashing to the standing part with a Clove Hitch, leaving around 600mm of running end free.

The lashing is then formed in the normal manner and finished by tying the running end to the initial round turn at the head end with a Clove Hitch, leaving around 600mm of running end free. Both running ends are then taken over the head end of the door and Clove Hitched to the round turn on the underside of the door.

Fig 5:14

Blankets (Figure 5:14)

5.18 Blankets (Figure 5:14)

Blankets make excellent improvised stretchers, and in residential areas, should be in fair supply. These stretchers are very simple to make and in addition to the blankets, require two poles about two metres long. Stout broom handles, water pipe or 50mm x 25mm timber would do the job.

Place the blanket flat on the ground and lay the poles on the blanket about 600mm apart.

Fold each side of the blanket across each pole and the stretcher is ready.

To make it more secure, nails can be used to pin the two top folds together.

Fig 5:15

Bags (Figure 5:15)

5.19 Bags (Figure 5:15)

Two bags and two poles make a first class stretcher. Cut the stitching in the bottoms of two bags, just enough to permit the poles to be passed through. Slide the end of the second bag a short distance over the foot of the first bag.

Overcoats (Figure 5:16)

5.20 Overcoats (Figure 5:16)

Two overcoats with the sleeves turned inside out and poles slid through them make a good stretcher.

Do up all the buttons on the front of each coat and if necessary, use nails to close the tail flaps.

The coats are placed head to tail with the fronts of the coats uppermost.

Heavy shirts or overalls can also be used in the same manner.

Fig 5:16

Ladders (Figure 5:17)

5.21 Ladders (Figure 5:17)

Where for any reason, a very narrow stretcher is required, such as for passing through small window openings, tunnels, etc, a small ladder or one half of a small extension ladder can be used to advantage.

A decking of boards should be placed on the ladder (if available) and it is then blanketed in the normal way. In Figure 5:17 a variation to the standard stretcher lashing is shown. It is commenced with a Clove Hitch on the string above the rung nearest the casualty's feet. Two loose, round turns are then taken around the ladder and the lashing Half Hitched to the centre of the turns. From here, three Half Hitches are taken around the body in the usual positions. The lashing is tied off with a Clove Hitch to a rung above the casualty's head.

Fig 5:17

Other Methods (Figures 5:18 & 5:19)

5.22 Other Methods (Figures 5:18 & 5:19)

Other methods for transporting casualties can be improvised using bedframes, corrugated iron sheets, chairs or any other supportive material.

Fig 5:18 Bedframe stretcher

Fig 5:19