Emergency Services Receive Grants

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From www.roanoke.com The Roanoke Times

Friday, March 18, 2005

Emergency services receive grants

Grants provide funding for vehicles, training courses and medical and communications equipment.By Hattie Brown 981-3349The Roanoke Times e-mail this story Printer-friendly version
Nearly $353,000 in grants has been awarded to several nonprofit emergency medical services agencies and organizations in the New River and Roanoke valleys.
The Virginia Department of Health awarded more than $3.3 million in matching Rescue Squad Assistance Fund grants statewide, according to a news release. The grants went into effect Jan. 1.
The grants, which are awarded twice a year, provide funding
for communications equipment, EMS vehicles, medical equipment and training courses. They are paid for through Four-for-Life funds, money collected annually through motor vehicle registration fees.
Agencies and organizations that receive the grants have up to a year to buy the approved items and submit receipts for reimbursement, said Ruth Robertson, spokeswoman for the state health department’s EMS office.
Roanoke EMS Inc. received $32,297 for a four-wheel-drive ambulance, which will be helpful during bad weather, Deputy Chief David Hoback said. An additional $2,250 will pay for a large stretcher to handle patients of up to 900 pounds. EMS workers have been called to take care of an increasing number of patients who are 700 pounds or heavier, Hoback said.
With a $9,000 grant, the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department will start a pilot program to better assist patients with chest pains, Hoback said. The program is also being supported by Lewis-Gale Medical Center and Carilion Health System.
The department has bought defibrillators that show 12 views of the heart, instead of the three they can see with equipment being used now. Having this type of technology could potentially help rescue workers identify patients’ problems before they arrive at the hospital, speeding up the treatment process, Hoback said.
Franklin County’s fire departments and rescue squads needed new communication equipment to replace equipment from the 1970s, said Chris Slemp, the county’s director of public safety. They received $78,524 for portable radios and new radio systems in vehicles. The radios will allow the county to better communicate with other localities, Slemp said.
“We couldn’t do some of the projects without the grants,” he said.

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