extricating victims from crashed vehicles


MFA Advanced Product Design | Umeå Institute of Design | 2016/17 | 10 weeks individual project | in collaboration with Laerdal Medical and Västerbottens Läns Landsting


Victims of car crashes often suffer from dangerous spinal or pelvic injuries. To prevent from further damage, paramedics usually extricate these patients by cutting off the roof of the car and pulling them out from the top or - if possible - through the car trunk.
To do so, both paramedics and firefighters have to be on site, but at the same time, the person needs help ASAP.


Scoop allows the paramedics to stabilze the patient and extricate them in a straight position without cutting off the roof and involving firefighters.
This decreases the time used for the extrication by 40%.

How can patients be extricated from a vehicle in a safe and fast way by two paramedics only?

Scoop, a tool to stabilize patients

How Scoop works

Option 1

There are two ways of getting a victim with a potential spinal or pelvic injury out of a crashed car.
The first option is to fasten scoop to the patient and turn the person out of the car through the door next to the seat.

Option 2

The second option is to strap scoop to the patient, lower the seat to the maximum and finally pull the victim out of the car through the car trunk.
Depending on the damage on the car and the car type the paramedics can decide which option works best in the given situation.


Detachable Cover


Scoop should be as easy to use as possible. This newly designed buckle allows the paramedics to attach all straps in one place. Moreover it can be used as a handle. The middle of the torso is the heaviest part of the human body which is why it is important to have a place to grip in this area.



According to the paramedics, stabilizing the patients legs is very important to prevent from inner bleedings when the pelvis area is injured. This soft but tight belt allows the paramedics to keep the patient’s legs straight.

Injection Molding


To allow the paramedics to easily pull the patient out of the car through the back door, I integrated loops in the straps.



One part of scoop is the height-adjustable headrest. Pressing a button on the backside of the element, it can be slid up and down depending on the size of the patient.

research at the Umeå Ambulance Station

Research on site

Kick-off at the Umeå Ambulance Station

For the project kick-off, the whole class spent one day at the Umeå Ambulance Station, getting an introduction into the paramedic’s everyday life.
For an even more authentic experience, we came back in small groups the following days and joined the paramedics on trips.
In total we followed on 28 calls and talked to 23 paramedics.

Research trip

watch our video

Analysing & ideating in groups

Detachable Cover

Discussing what we have seen

In a group of four, we discussed key elements of the research trips to analyse pain points and design opportunities.


A day in a life of...

We used the method "A day in a life of...", also called a Visual Social Persona, to recreate a typical, fictional day of a paramedic based upon our findings.
It helped us to understand the daily challenges and opened up for ideas not directly related to their core tasks.

Injection Molding


We ideated on a post-it level to have a large pool of ideas that we could base our future concepts upon. Moreover, we created initial concepts.



After we created multiple concepts, we chose the one we believed in most and quickly tested the idea in form of a roleplay.

Creative process
ideation, concept creation & prototyping, prototyping, prototyping


Ideation sketches

Developing ideas through sketches

After finding multiple interesting topics during the group work phase, I decided to work on the question "How can patients be extricated from a vehicle in a safe and fast way by two paramedics only?". I sketches multiple concept ideas and evaluated them with help of our collaboration partner Laerdal Medical.



Eleven Prototypes for iteration purposes

I built eleven prototypes in small and full scale to test several concepts and refine the best. Depending on the purpose I chose different materials like cardboard, fabrics, camping mats, foam rubber, acrylic and plenty of hot glue.


Choosing a concept and defining the details

I tested the first prototypes on my classmates to validate ideas and chose the best concept to proceed with.
After chosing one concept, I needed to figure out the right size and tested one prototype on people of different height, age and gender.

Feedback from the Paramedics

Asking professionals for their opinion

I went to the paramedics station several times after our first visit to get feedback on concepts and models or first-hand-information on current processes. I adjusted my concept according to feedback to make it a valuable product for the users.

Final presentation

Final Presentation

Final Presentation

Laerdal & the paramedics

I presented my concept in front of representatives from Laerdal Medical as well as paramedics from the Umeå Ambulance Station that dropped in and out depending on the incoming calls.

"I have one last question:
When can we have one?"

Paramedic, after the presentation

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