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Calif. Department Receives New Heart Monitors

Redlands will purchase seven cardiac monitors and defibrillators to replace Fire Department equipment that is five to 10 years old.

The City Council last week agreed to apply for a lease-purchase agreement over five years with US Bancorp, with an option to buy the equipment made by Physio-Control Inc. for $1 at the end of the term.

The lease amount is $184,317.75, documents state. The 2010-11 budget includes $26,000 to cover the lease-purchase for the rest of the fiscal year.

The Physio-Control equipment also is used by AMR, the local ambulance company, and the Redlands Police Department. Many other Inland fire departments are using or purchasing the equipment as well, the staff report states.

Fire Department paramedics responded to 74 cardiac arrest calls last year, the report states. Each of those patients was placed on a cardiac monitor through the use of a "quick combo" patch.

"The Police Department uses the same make," Fire Chief Jeff Frazier said. "We can connect our monitors through their patches, and the ambulance company can connect, too."

The time savings could be a lifesaver for the patient, he said.

Two of the department's monitors are within the maximum five-year life span set by the American Hospital Association and the eight-year cycle of the U.S. military. Several are more than 10 years old, the report states.

The cardiac monitors measure blood pressure and oxygen saturation, defibrillate and can ensure that endo-tracheal tubes are properly inserted. They also can provide carbon monoxide monitoring, which is required for fire crews after they have been exposed to smoke fighting fires, the report states.

The Fire Department has been doing business with the company since its paramedic program began in 1981.


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