The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service was awarded a $1.2 million federal grant to replace old cardiac defibrillators, MCFRS announced Thursday.
Fire Chief Richard Bowers said more than half of the department’s cardiac defibrillators have been in use since 2002, longer than recommended.
Fire officials said upgrading to the new cardiac monitors—known as Lifepak 15s—would save lives.
The equipment enables first responders to quickly diagnose a patient in the field, provide quick access to clinical information and faster treatment while simultaneously transmitting critical patient information directly to the hospital’s emergency department before arriving at the hospital.
Funds are from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant, which in February provided $1.2 million in funding for new external defibrillators.
U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D) of Baltimore and Ben Cardin (D) of Pikesville, and U.S. Rep. Christoper Van Hollen Jr. (D-Dist. 8) of Kensington helped secure the grant. Montgomery County will provide $300,000 in matching funds toward the purchase.
“I want to thank Senators Mikulski and Cardin and Congressman Van Hollen for their efforts to provide this grant to Montgomery County for more advanced cardiac defibrillators,” County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) said in a press release. “This new equipment will help our first responders save even more lives, and for that we are grateful.”