Tallmadge -- By the end of the year, city ambulances should have upgraded medical devices that will make treating and monitoring patients easier and more efficient.
City Council has voted Thursday to authorize the fire department to spend about $130,000 to buy four LifePak15 heart monitors, an updated version of its current heart monitors, to replace four older models.
"The heart monitors are 11 years old, and we have to replace them; they're becoming obsolete," Fire Chief Pat Gaffney said, explaining the manufacturer isn't supporting them anymore.
He said the fire department applied for grant money but was unable to secure funds to pay for the units.
The new monitors have additional features that allow paramedics to do more with one device, instead of having to use a few separate devices. The upgraded model can shock patients to restore a pulse, act as a pacemaker, perform CPR counts, take pulses and blood pressure, measure carbon monoxide levels in blood, and record dates and times for specific events, such as giving patients medications. The previous model, LifePak12 had fewer features, Gaffney said.
As part of the purchase of the new equipment, Council also has given the fire department permission to trade in three of the older ones to the manufacturer.
Donated monitor to be used for mobile clinic
The fire department is donating the fourth older monitor to Faithful Servants Care Center to be used in the faith-based medical organization's new travel clinic it plans to launch next month. The main clinic on Community Road offers urgent medical care for minor illnesses and injuries to uninsured patients who meet specific income criteria.
"Faithful Servants is getting a very nice unit that has a lot of the bells and whistles that has a limited amount of [patient] service time on it," Gaffney said, adding the other units that will be traded in were used a lot more over a longer period of time.
According to clinic co-founder Dr. Sue Meyer, the travel clinic will launch on a trial basis. It first will treat patients at the Haven of Rest in Akron, with the hope of expanding to provide services at five sites in Akron.
"The monitor is going to be awesome because we'll put it in the back of the van and take it with us, which will give us a lot of utility," Meyer said, adding that the donated machine will save the clinic the expense of buying an EKG machine.
According to Gaffney, the donated machine is worth about $10,000.
"This is just another example of the support we've received from [the city of Tallmadge]," Meyer added.
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