Local firefighter's invention protects first responders and patients

Published: Nov. 5, 2012 at 2:45 AM MST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2018 at 5:13 PM MST
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GREEN VALLEY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Green Valley firefighter/EMT Diane Vetter has invented a product that's catching on in fire agencies across Arizona.  It's called the Vetter belt.  Vetter, an avid climber, constructed the belt using materials used by rock climbers suck as straps and clips.

The Vetter belt is used to help patients who have fallen but have not been injured.  She got the idea about six years ago when she responded to a call to help a 600 lb man back on his feet.  The call put a big strain on firefighters, so she set out to find a more efficient and safer way to help these patients.

The other issue is the safety of the first responders because some Green Valley firefighters have suffered strains and sprains on the job and risked back injury.

"One day we had three calls that used the Vetter belt just at my station alone, so that's three back injuries we prevented in my crew so I think it's been very helpful for all of us," says Vetter.

This latest belt is Vetter's sixth prototype, and other fire departments across Arizona are snatching it up including Goodyear Fire, Rural Metro, and both the Sierra Vista and Nogales agencies.

Vetter plans to now market the device to other types of patient care workers.

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