KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Anderson County Emergency Medical Services has used a grant from the Tennessee Risk Management Trust to buy vital new equipment.

The $19,114.48 safety grant was used to purchase 13 powered stair chairs. These chairs help move patients when stretchers cannot be placed close enough to the patient. For example, when a patient is downstairs, a powered stair chair can be used to move the patient upstairs.

“Manual lifting has higher risk of injury to employees as it may often place an employee in a compromised position. The controlled power movement is also safer for patients,” Anderson County EMS stated in its grant application.

“We use stair chairs daily. These new stair chairs do something our old ones can’t; they have power to go upstairs, where now we are having to physically carry the patient and stair chair going up. It is a huge benefit for our medics and our patients,” said EMS Director Nathan Sweet.

The new chairs will be put on staffed ambulances.

County Mayor Terry Frank, left, stands with EMS Director Nathan Sweet, center, and Assistant EMS Director Scott Thomas and one of the department’s new powered stair chairs. The powered chairs were purchased with safety grant funds awarded by the Tennessee Risk Management Trust.

“I’m very appreciative of the Tennessee Risk Management Trust providing these safety grants,” Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said. “These grants are so helpful for securing equipment that not only can protect our employees, but also the citizens we serve.”

The Tennessee Risk Management Trust works with public entities across the state to make workplaces and workdays safer.