Rural/Metro gives Seymour Fire two EKG LIFEPAKs
By Iva Butler | (email@example.com)
On a blustry Monday morning, Rural/Metro of East Tennessee donated two 12-lead LIFEPAKs to Seymour Volunteer Fire Department for use in its fire trucks to increase the effectiveness of the department’s first responders.
“The 12-lead EKG equipment can really save time if a patient is having a major incident. “It’s going to be a real advantage to the community,” said Dennis Rowe, Rural/Metro Ambulance Service marketing general manager for Knox County.
Rural/Metro upgraded to LIFEPAK 15 and these became available. The machines allow the cardiologist to be notified of the patient condition during transport and saves the muscle of the heart, Rowe said.
Currently, Seymour uses 3-lead LIFEPAKs, basic life support, and the 12-leads are advanced life support systems. The more advanced equipment gives a better view of the heart.
The new technology will allow the volunteer fire department to communicate EKG data to local area hospitals using the STEMI system. This system transmits data from the LIFEPAK 12 directly to the emergency department of a local hospital, giving physicians time to prepare a treatment plan before the patient arrives at the hospital.
Rowe said that first responders get to the patients 4 to 16 minutes ahead of ambulances.
“First responders know the area and know the people and can get there quicker. They’re critical to our patients and the community,” he added.
Rural/Metro has been using the 12-lead EKG equipment for four years. “They are relatively new as far as technology is concerned,” Rowe said.
The 15-lead LIFEPACKs cost Rural/Metro $37,000 each. New 12-lead machines sell for $24,000.
Rural/Metro officials Rowe and Fire Chief for Knox County Jerry Harnish presented the compact, portable heart-monitoring technology to Seymour Assistant Fire Chief Corky McCarter and Firefighter Rob Taylor, who will take over as assistant chief in December, in a ceremony at Rural/Metro’s operations center in Knox County.
“Every Rural/Metro fire truck has a licensed paramedic first responder on board with 12-lead technology to act as first responders,” said Rob Webb, Rural/Metro East Tennessee division general manager, who is a Blount native and resident. “Seymour Volunteer Fire Department will now be able to provide that advanced service to their three-county service area immediately when they arrive on the scene.”
The Seymour Volunteer Fire Department has served parts of Blount, Sevier and Knox counties since 1971. It serves about 26,000 people.
Rural/Metro of Tennessee is the largest emergency service provider in East Tennessee, with a combined work force of more than 800 firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, telecommunicatiors and other support personnel. It has contracts for 911 service in Knox, Blount, Loudon, Polk and Franklin counties.