DynaMed Designs Life-Saving Ergonomic Emergency Chair with Project KickStart


The Customer

Alden Kay, Vice-President of Manufacturing, DynaMed Division, Gall's Inc. (download)


The Challenge

Design an updated model of the Stair Chair, an ergonomic chair used by emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and police to extricate non-ambulatory individuals from dangerous and tricky locations, like down stairwells in a burning building.


The Solution

According to Alden Kay, DynaMed Vice President, "All emergency and paramedic vehicles in New York and New Jersey must carry a stair chair. We wanted to design a chair that went beyond the basic requirements, one that makes emergency medical technicians' work easier."


Elderly, convalescent and immobile people often live in older high-rise buildings that provide only narrow hallways and steep, twisting stairwells. Residents are completely dependent on EMTs and paramedics for escape in the event of fire or other life-threatening situations. The ergonomic design of DynaMed's Stair Chair, with its four special extension handles, two large rear wheels, two low-profile front casters, and a locking safety latch improves rescue efforts, making it faster and safer for everybody involved.


"We took all our competitors' products, looked at what needed to be changed and improved, then used Project KickStart to develop a better chair," Kay says. "The process was very quick and very efficient, and it would have been slow and difficult had we used a complex package like Microsoft Project.”


FDA requirements are stringent, of course, and making sure you cover all of the details is critically important. "When we come up with a new product that we need to work on and document for the FDA, Project KickStart is fantastic. It helps us figure out:

  • How we pull the team together
  • Who needs to do what
  • What elements of the project are key


According to Kay, he and his team have used Project KickStart to design four products, including the Stair Chair Model 4000. In designing the Model 4000 and other DynaMed products, Kay says he finds Project KickStart 's phases, people, goals, and tasks features to be most beneficial to successfully completing design projects.


The Benefits

Alden Kay and his DynaMed design team find the following benefits in using Project KickStart:

  • Ease and speed of use
  • Comprehensive data gathering capability
  • Effective resource assignment features


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