Exoskeletons (SSM) aim to relieve rescuers' spines: the choice of fire brigades in Germany
In order to offer emergency services the best possible protection during back fatigue activities, the fire brigade in Düsseldorf, Germany, is now using the so-called Spine Support Module (SSM)
The exoskeletons, originally designed for the military sector, have been adapted to the needs of the rescue service
The corset, which weighs approximately one kilogram, supports the stabilisation of spinal column rotation through the functional structure between the trunk brace and the pelvic ring.
This prevents both hyperlordosis (hollow back) when bending or lifting heavy objects and hyperflexion (curved back) when sitting in the wrong position or working in a bent posture.
In addition, the spine is protected in the event of a fall and during rapid turning and bending movements.
A slight extension of the spinal column prevents excessive pressure on the intervertebral disc.
According to the manufacturer, the optimisation of the transport load exceeds 40 per cent, explains Simon Janßen, occupational safety specialist.
Already in January, two employees of the Düsseldorf fire brigade from the safety and exchange service tested the extent to which the SSM is suitable for the daily work of the rescue services.
Thanks to the exoskeletons a significant facilitation during lifting and transport has been noticed
The exoskeleton has been tested by a larger group of people since April.
During the six-month test phase, six of the exoskeletons are to be checked for operational limits, transport comfort and usage time by the fire brigade and rescue service, as well as daily safety.
The test phase is accompanied by the company medical service.
After the evaluation, a decision will be made on the nationwide use of the MVU.