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From: Chris Haagen <> Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 00:27:02 -0800 Subject: MTR Instructor Workshop 2: SKEDs

The SKEDs have been a topic of discussion for the past several board meetings, and the purchase of one was approved last board meeting. Originally proposed by Mike K. and myself. Why? Here is my explanation:

"Ultimately, I think the SKED could replace our cache toboggans. We could probably store the SKED inside the cache box instead of outside, protecting it from the elements. And we could probably even equip the car caches with a SKED.

The current toboggans are damaged (Cascade) and irreplaceable (fiberglass). Plus they are heavy and difficult to maneuver. Because the SKED can be carried in a pack, I think it will be MUCH faster to retrieve it from the cache and deliver it to the incident scene. As Mike points out, the SKED is compatible and rated for helicopter hoisting. The Cascade toboggan is lift-rated as well, but the fiberglass toboggan is certainly not."

Mike was able to get one SKED donated and a second one for half price. We're using them in the MTR class now, but they will probably be officially put into service next season, with training at the Operations refresher and the OTH.

You're right; the SKED videos, literature, and web site should answer most of your questions.

I'll elaborate on Mike's answers to your questions.

1. How will the SKED hold up and assemble in cold temperatures, especially it it's been coiled up for many months? They seem to indicate that the SKED material needs to be worked a bit in cold temps in order to be assembled.

Mike, is correct; SKEDs are designed for military characteristics, so they should work well in any environment you can imagine the military operating in. From SKEDCO:

   What is the temperature range?
   The SKED® plastic is safe at temperatures far above the patient survivable range. It is also unbreakable beyond -120 F° without becoming brittle.

2. I saw a photo of the SKED used in conjunction with a long spineboard. Will we plan to use it when spine immobilization is required?

The SKED can be used with any long spine board, but it is not intended to provide spinal immobilization by itself. A spine board is used with in conjunction with the SKED in the same way a spine board is used in any other toboggan. There is a trivial rigging to secure the spine board to the SKED, shown in this video: This really isn't any different than using a spine board with a toboggan, except we don't really practice securing the spine board to the toboggan. I think this may be simpler.

While the SKED is easier to transport, a long spine board is not. We may want to consider adopting the Oregon Spine Splint II (OSS), also a SKEDCO product. It would be much easier to transport than a long spine board and would help us get away from dragging equipment through deep snow from the cache to the incident location.

3. OEC protocols need to be established for its use, such as what types of injuries or MOI its use is warranted and when it isn't. Perhaps it will (hopefully) work for most applications.

A SKED can and should be used any time a standard toboggan would be used. it is a direct replacement. In fact, because it is lift-rated, it is even better than the Hegg toboggan.

4. Would be interested to see how it compares to the Brooks Range sled. Is there an intent to replace the BR or just provide another (better) option for rope rescue and/or transport? Can the pt's skis be placed inside the SKED or would the metal edges damage the material?

Much bigger and heavier; they are really not comparable. The BR sled is carried by the patrol, and can be used for emergency transportation of a non-ambulatory patient without a spinal injury. It avoids a lengthy trip to a cache. The SKED is a direct replacement for the Cascade or Hegg toboggan. It is intended as a primary transport option for non-ambulatory patients with or without a spine injury. Yes, I think the patient's skis/poles could be secured to the SKED, probably on the side or top with ski straps. The material is very robust.

Here is a link to the SKED product page (note we have the upgraded Cobra buckles):

Here is a link to the SKED instructions:

Here are links to several SKED training videos:

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