North Chilton fire earns grant
By Ben Flanagan
U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus announced last week the North Chilton Fire Department will receive a federal fire grant for $46,360.
The exclusively volunteer department will use the operations and safety grant to purchase a new cardiac rescue monitor and replace outdated equipment.
In a press release, Bachus said the grant helps ensure fire companies have the necessary resources to quickly and effectively respond to emergency calls.
He also commended the North Chilton department for qualifying for the grant.
Department chief Jason Scott said he and his volunteer staff are pleased to receive a grant that gives them access to the most up-to-date technology that will put them in a great position to save lives.
He noted the forthcoming upgrades to the station would not be possible without Bachus’ help and influence.
The station will purchase a Lifepack 15 heart monitor, upgrading from a Lifepack 11.
Scott said the new monitor is the most current technology available and can perform EKGs, non-invasive blood pressure readings and other functions.
He said any monitoring capabilities that exist in hospitals are also possible with the monitor in pre-hospital settings. The station will have two monitors.
Scott said he applied for the grant in 2009.
The funds were rewarded under the Assistance to Firefighters program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Only the applications most closely conforming to program priorities are considered and scored by peer review panels.
The station will also purchase a Storz Video Laryngscope System to secure better airways in patients.
Scott said it is the same system used in most anesthesia departments.
“Nobody in Central Alabama that I’m aware of has that system,” he said. “This is really some of the most advanced airway technology out there. This is a tremendous asset.”
He said the department, which had limited funding, was excited to receive such high quality equipment thanks to the grant.
“We’re the third busiest department in the county, and definitely the busiest volunteer station,” he said.
“This grant will allow us to provide the highest quality care for medical and trauma calls that exist out there, especially heart attack patients.”
The station currently has four paramedics on staff, but Scott said he anticipates hiring two more by next year.
He’s proud to have the right personnel to utilize the top grade technology.
The station will also purchase a K12 saw, which will allow easier access entrance into certain buildings in case of emergency.
Scott is a paramedic as well as a former nurse anesthetist.