NEW Xtract®2 Stretcher adopted by British Military
Halifax, Yorkshire (March 2015) – Ex-Corporal teams up with fabric experts to make the lightest military stretcher.
Ex-Corporal in the British Army Medical Corp, Colin Smart, has worked extensively with experts in the fabric industry and researchers at Leeds University Technical Textiles Department to design the latest stretcher to be issued to the UK military.
After serving on the front lines during the first Gulf War, Colin Smart realized that there was a place for a lightweight, compact stretcher which would protect the casualty and help a rescuer quickly move them to safety. 18 years later he was in a position to put those ideas into practice. A further six years of development, testing and research and Colin’s ideas have become reality, the patented Xtract®2 stretcher has now been adopted for use throughout the British army.
“I know that when it comes to operational equipment there is a lot that you have to carry. It simply isn’t feasible to take a regular stretcher on patrol”, says Colin Smart, “however, if you do end up in a situation where you take a casualty, you need to be able to move them quickly and safely.”
The Xtract®2 is an innovation in casualty evacuation. Rather than relying on bulky rigid stretchers made of canvas and steel, typically weighing 16-20lbs, the Xtract®2 weighs in at a game changing 3lbs and can be packed so small (about the size of a loaf of bread) it can be easily carried alongside standard infantry equipment. So much so, that it will, as of this year, be issued to 1 in 4 soldiers in the UK Army.
But don’t be fooled by its small size, Colin and his company TSG Associates, have built this little stretcher to pack a big punch. Tested to a massive 2,000 lbs the Xtract®2 is rated to take 660lbs, more than three times the weight of an average soldier.
It is specialized fabric coatings, applied before sewing that gives the Xtract®2 great abrasion resistance as well as its high strength, allowing it to be dragged over short distances, giving a single rescuer the ability to move a casualty quickly, reducing both of their exposure to a potentially hostile location.
“I am incredibly proud that an idea I first had whilst sitting in the desert will now be helping wounded soldiers wherever they are in the world”, stated Colin Smart. “We will continue to develop solutions which will make a positive impact on the injured person, both for the military and at home in our civilian services.” The Xtract®2 is also being considered for use by a number of ambulance services.
In the US the Xtract®2 is available from Kingfisher Medical. kingfishermedical.com/solutions/xtract2