New tool helps EMTs save time and lives

Published: Dec. 21, 2016 at 5:24 PM MST
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A new cardiac machine is giving firefighters and EMTs the opportunity to track more symptoms quickly to save time and lives.

Until recently, the Palisade Rural Fire Protection District was the only fire department in the county without the up-to-date LifePak-15 cardiac monitor/defibrillator.

The machines can cost upwards of $30,000, but with a $50,000 grant from the Mesa County Federal Mineral Lease District, the department was able to get two new machines.

Joe White, the EMS chief with the Palisade Rural Fire Protection District, said the new monitors will vastly improve the odds of patient survival by shortening the time to go from evaluation of symptoms to treatment by 30 to 60 minutes.

"Our protocol, per Mesa County, is within the first 5 minutes we'll have a 12 lead [electrocardiography] done," said White.

Once a patient is hooked up to the new machine, all information is sent directly to a hospital.

"The hospital will start getting the cath lab ready and we will save a whole lot of time," said White.

The new tool will not only give first responders more information on scene, but will make the overall process faster for the patient.

“With these lifesavers – being able to have this kind of information at your fingertips – builds our confidence and the confidence of the patients," said White.

Dusti Reimer, with the Mesa County Federal Mineral Lease District, said all of the organization is pleased all of the grant money will go directly back into Mesa County.

“It's great. We live here, everyone within the community lives here,” said Reimer. “So we all benefit from it – I benefit from it, you benefit from it, everybody in the community. So they may not see it, but it's there."

White says the new machines do more than save time.

"We believe we're going to be saving more lives, getting these patients to the hospital," said White.