Concerns Grow After FDNY EMS Asst. Chief Cuts Defibrillator Maintenance


JONATHAN LEMIRE | | Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Facing a shortage of defibrillators for some of its ambulances, the FDNY has canceled regular maintenance on the life-saving machines, the Daily News has learned. The LifePak 12, a $25,000 defibrillator and cardiac monitor installed in all the department's Advanced Life Support ambulances, used to receive a tuneup every six months, according to FDNY sources.

But on Nov. 18, Assistant Chief of EMS John McFarland abruptly canceled the maintenance program and, in an e-mail obtained by The News, ordered ALS coordinators to "keep all expired LP12s in service." Though the FDNY yesterday strenuously denied that the change would affect the performance of the ambulances, several EMS sources and unions expressed worry that the cutback could endanger lives.

"Our concern is that as we try to 'stretch' the lifespan of these devices and get further and further from the time when they are supposed to be overhauled, we may have a critical failure," said Patrick Bahnken, president of the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors union.

Read More, City's defibrillator shocker: EMS honcho John McFarland says cancel tuneups, use expired monitors

Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Leadership and Professionalism, Cardiac and Circulation, Legal and Ethical

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS



Get JEMS in Your Inbox


Fire EMS Blogs

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts


EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee County EMS Shows Off CPR Tool

Lucas 2 in service in Bradley County.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Abilene Loses Helicopter Service

Native Air leaves city with only one air helicopter service.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire Chief Proposes another Controversial Ambulance Plan

Staffing change will leave immediate neighborhood without fire apparatus.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb


Mike McEvoy and A.J. Heightman discuss some new EMS technology at FDIC 2014.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >

More Product Videos >