By Kevin Kelley
The Westlake Fire Department will soon have four new pediatric immobilization boards thanks to the Westlake Kiwanis.
Currently, fire departments such as Westlake often use adult stabilization boards on juveniles.
There’s one problem, though.
“They just don’t fit,” said Westlake Assistant Fire Chief Jim Hughes.
Often paramedics will need to use towels or other padding to help secure a young person on the boards, on which injured patients are placed to prevent additional injuries, Hughes said.
Because adults suffer trauma injuries less often than children do, acquisition of the pediatric immobilization boards has been a lower priority for many fire departments, he said.
“It falls lower on the priority list because of the lower frequency of calls (involving young children),” the assistant fire chief said.
Westlake Kiwanis offered the money for the boards because prevention and treatment of pediatric trauma is the current focus of Bill Snellgrove, Kiwanis Ohio District governor, and his wife, Cheryl. As part of the Ohio Kiwanis’ “first family” project, the organization is also distributing pediatric trauma reference cards and comfort teddy bears for first responders to give to injured children.
The Westlake chapter of the global service organization successfully applied for a grant from the Ohio District Kiwanis Foundation for $1,000 to purchase the four pediatric trauma boards, said Rick Grane, president of the Westlake Kiwanis.
In presenting the check to Hughes at Westlake City Hall Sept. 18, Grane noted that, according to the organization’s motto, Kiwanis members are dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time.