Montgomery County Fire and Rescue will benefit from a jolt of federal funds to buy 40 new hi-tech defibrillators.
The fire department will receive $1,192,800 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program to purchase lifesaving rescue equipment to help victims of motor vehicle crashes, according to a statement released by U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), along with U.S. Congressman Christopher Van Hollen (D-Md.).
“When a natural disaster occurs or we are faced with a terrorist attack, it is our first responders who provide the first line of defense for our citizens,” Cardin said in a statement announcing the funding.
“This federal funding is an important investment in keeping Maryland families and businesses safe if and when a disaster strikes,” he said. “It ensures that our first responders have the resources they need to protect us and the equipment and training they need to do their jobs.”
The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service will use the grant funds to purchase 40 cardiac monitor defibrillators, which assist with emergency resuscitation, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Chief Scott Graham.
“By having these machines it will definitely increase our ability to save lives,” Graham said.
They will replace existing units that have exceeded their recommended 10-year lifespan.
The machines will be able to perform a variety of medical testing in the field.
The machines communicate the conditions with the hospital before patients even arrive, which means that often Fire and Rescue personnel “go right past emergency to the cardiac intervention lab,” Graham said, and help “reduce the door to balloon [blockage] time,” Graham said. “We’re seeing people go back to work in sometimes less than a week, who could have required open heart surgery before or who could have gone into cardiac arrest and died.”