Nov. 1, 2006 – Los Angeles, CA- In response to recent hurricane and flood damage caused by major storm systems in the US, an Army base in Alabama has sought out a new way to fill sandbags quicker and more efficiently. The Ft. Rucker Army Base has purchased a one-man, one-scoop, one-bag sandbagging system called the SackMaster to eliminate the physical strain and inefficient, two-man shovel method of filling sandbags for use in emergency preparedness efforts.
The US Army Corps of Engineers has, for years, advocated in a document titled Flood Fighting: How To Use Sandbags that, “Filling sandbags is a two-person operation. One member of the team should place the empty bag between or slightly in front of widespread feet with arms extended. The throat of the bag is folded to form a collar, and held with the hands in a position that will enable the other team member to empty a rounded shovel full of material into the open end.”
This method has been known to exert severe physical strain on soldiers who are often out on 8 hour sandbag detail to meet demand. A study conducted by the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Natal, Durban has concluded that this strain, often referred to as “Sandbag Palsy”, is a severe strain of the back, neck and shoulders, sustained while constructing the 50 lb. sandbags. The ailment is officially known as Brachial Plexus Palsy.
The millions of sandbags needed annually for domestic emergency preparedness efforts carried out by military personnel have traditionally been filled in this time-consuming, back-breaking, two-person method that is known to contribute to Brachial Plexus Palsy. Ft. Rucker is the first base to incorporate the SackMaster into their sandbagging efforts in an effort to maximize turn around time for much needed sandbags during emergencies and to eliminate strain on the soldiers carrying out those duties.
Sgt. Kilgore of Ft. Rucker Army Base in Alabama also specifically requested that the SackMaster be delivered in “sand” color instead of the traditional camouflage color.
For more information on the SackMaster see www.thesackmaster.com.
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