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Nov 19, 2014
Male user raneill 5 posts

Topic: Security Central / Wheelchair Security Issues

Unfortunately, I am not really involved with the wheelchair issue at my agency much anymore. Management has shut me down as it doesn’t want to deal with people who ask real questions to get real answers. Therefore, here goes an update from what I have been able to find out.

At least something I pushed for is in progress now. We finally got to the point of having wheelchairs refurbished by our inmate vocational shops instead of just salvaging them when they become unserviceable. Since the majority of the damage to the wheelchairs is ripped/torn upholstery, our inmate vocational sewing shop now fabricates replacement seating surfaces and the inmate vocational bike repair shop reassembles the wheelchair. It’s a slow inefficient operation. Many parts are just recycled from other unserviceable wheelchairs. Last I checked, the shops had more than 100 unserviceable wheelchairs on hand. We get maybe 3-5 “refurbished” wheelchairs to return to service a week. We still salvage a lot of wheelchairs. As a note, we have never had any repairs contracted out. Our last large purchase order, in addition to modified wheelchairs, it included the installation of “Anti-theft/Anti-fold” bars to a number of wheelchairs we had currently in use. The bar is fit across the back of the wheelchair frame to prevent it from being folded to a more compact size. The installation process was a fiasco as inmates are constantly being moved about and we cannot take inmates out of a wheelchair without a replacement. Unfortunately, I believe the vendor got burned on that one.

We also had/have a project to try and track the wheelchairs using a GPS/WiFi tracking device of somekind mounted to a metal plate installed on the wheelchair. Unfortunately, as far as I know the system has never worked as our facilities do not have good WiFi coverage and most of the expensive tracking devices were junked with the salvaged unserviceable wheelchairs. The other issue with the tracker is the Lithium battery which is supposed to last for years appears to be lasting less than a year.

As a transport wheelchair the STAXI has turned out to be a great unit. All of the wheelchairs we put in service are still in service daily without any problems noted. The Staxi’s issues would be that it is a transport wheelchair and it does require a person available to push it while holding the brake release bar making it suitable only in limited circumstances. The other issues is with it taking a lot of space for strorage as it doesn’t fold although multiple units nest like shopping carts.

The MERLEXI prison wheelchairs also seem to be a good durable wheelchair. We did have an issue at first with some foot rests failing right away on our small test batch. The problem appears to be related to a bad resin mixture in the batch. Merlexi responded right away by swapping out the defective parts which seems to have resolved the issue. I have not heard of any failures since. The plastic/resin material is similar to that of plastic shopping carts and does seem very durable and tamper resistant.

 
Sep 22, 2011
Male user raneill 5 posts

Topic: Security Central / Wheelchair Security Issues

Hi all. Just posting results of research I have been doing for a while now. (Our facilities purchase over 200 wheelchairs a year)

Generally, institutions use basic standard wheelchairs. Many secure the removable foot riggings with tamper resistant anti-theft lock nuts to make them harder to remove. Most companies make models with non-removable armrests.

One option we have found are “airport” transport chairs from “Staxi.” These are non-folding wheelchairs that are designed for commercial use and they slide together like airport luggage carts. We are currently using a few of these in areas that allow for transport wheelchair use. The issue with this model is that as a transport wheelchair, it cannot be self-propelled by the one sitting on it.

Another option that we recently found was a “inmate wheelchair” from “Merlexi Craft.” This model appears to be a resin wheelchair that still folds like a standard wheelchair but is made of a material similar to plastic grocery store shopping carts. It seems new to the market but looks promising.

I would still like to see some feedback from others on what works and what doesn’t at various facilities.

 
Sep 22, 2011
Male user raneill 5 posts

Topic: Everything Education / Emergency Tower Evac.

Another option In addition to using a stair chair could be a basket stretcher. If full c-spine immobilization is required and the windows are removable a basket stretcher and backboard can be used with rope rigging secured to a solid anchor in the tower. This is another item your local EMS/Fire may have already for high angle rescue.

 
Sep 22, 2011
Male user raneill 5 posts

Topic: Everything Education / Emergency Tower Evac.

Various manufacturers make what is called a stair chair used for evacuation via stairwells. Some are expensive and elaborate on the level of a ambulance gurney and other are lower priced and compact more like a folding litter. Ferno and Junkin are some brands that come to mind. Your local EMS/Fire may already have these as part of their response equipment.

 
Jun 02, 2009
Male user raneill 5 posts

Topic: Security Central / Wheelchair Security Issues

In our jail facility, we have regular issues with the wheelchairs being used. It seems parts are being removed to make into weapons such as; the brake handles being broken off, the metal supports in the vinyl seat and back portions and other various pieces.

I was wondering if there are any recommendations regarding the type, make, model of wheelchairs that are more resistant to inmate damage.

Some suggestions as to what modifications may work and what ideas have failed would help also.

I figure if we can figure out a better wheelchair it would reduce the number we purchase annually along with making our facilities a safer place. If there is enough demand, perhaps a company would be willing to make a correction/in-custody specific line of wheelchairs.




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