Essex-Windsor paramedics sport new harness thanks to in-house invention

A newly designed chest harness by Essex-Windsor EMS aims to keep frontline workers more balanced. 

Harness creator says it's the only one like it in the province

Hannah Chevalier, acting district chief for Essex-Windsor EMS, says the new harness will benefit front line workers. (Aastha Shetty/CBC)

A newly designed chest harness for Essex-Windsor EMS will reduce injury to paramedics, according to its creator. 

The harness, which straps on to one's chest, holds essential devices such as a radio that paramedics would normally have attached to a waist belt. The change in placement, according to the creator and acting district chief for Essex-Windsor EMS Hannah Chevalier, centres the weight. 

"The paramedics have been starting to realize the weight that originally where we were keeping the portables on our hips, it was always off balance," she said, adding that for years paramedics have tried to find a different option. 

"In the past few years, there's been a need, a want and a request." 

Chevalier led the development of the harness and she worked in partnership with Conterra, an EMS equipment brand. 

WATCH: Chevalier shows off the new uniform addition

Essex-Windsor EMS have new gear

5 months ago
Duration 1:30
Acting district chief for Essex-Windsor EMS Hannah Chevalier shows off the new uniform piece.

According to Chevalier, Essex-Windsor EMS are the only ones to her knowledge that are using this equipment. She said the harness has been two years in the making. 

"It's eliminating the danger of getting that portable caught throughout a house or on a call, so that's helping too, keeping it close to the chest," Chevalier said. 

The harness also has tear-away clips so if a paramedic were in a situation where a patient grabbed on to it or pulled, the harness will tear away, she said. 

She said another big benefit to have it during these times, is that it can be worn on top of personal protective equipment. 

Each harness costs around $75 and is being funded through the EMS' uniform budget. 

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