The EZ LIFT Rescue System Will Reduce Back Injuries
By: Bryan Fass, ATC, LAT, CSCS, EMT-P
President, Fit Responder

Situation: Emergency responders are taught to “lift with their legs, not their back.” While the notion of this is sound, the underlying biomechanics of the responders are not. Fire & EMS responders often sit for long periods of time and they are not able to warm up prior to a call for service. Long periods of sitting and long periods in a flexed posture, essentially how patient care and transportation are accomplished, causes a strange biomechanical phenomenon. Gluteal Amnesia is a neurological phenomenon seen in responders with back pain or in those who will have back pain in the future. When these responders pick up a spine board from the floor, they predominately use only their back and hamstrings, NOT their legs and specifically their gluteal muscles. This causes extreme loading on the lower back and tremendous torque on the lumbar spine leading to everything from disk microfractures, to bony microfractures, tissue strain and even cumulative tissue damage. So even though responders are taught to lift with their legs, they often do
not have the ability to do so, they use their backs instead.

EZ LIFT Channel

  • ONE in FOUR EMS/Fire Rescuers will have their careers ended within the first four years of service due to a back injury.
  • Lifting represents at least 25% of back injuries for emergency rescue personnel
  • The average back injury claim costs upwards of $25,000
  • Serious cases often soar about $85,000 in costs