TOWSON, Md. -- The Baltimore County Fire Department has received nearly $2 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for state-of-the-art equipment that will help save the lives of victims of cardiac arrest.
The grant will purchase 60 cardiac electrocardiogram (EKG) monitor/defibrillator/pacemakers -- enough for every career and volunteer medic unit, as well as for every EMS district supervisor. The grant also includes $90,000 for a new sprinkler system and a thermal imaging camera for the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department.
"This federal money will help ensure that our EMS and fire personnel have the best and most modern equipment," said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. "We are grateful for this assistance, especially in these difficult economic times."
Today, U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and other elected and fire officials discussed how the acquisition of 60 cardiac electrocardiogram (EKG) monitor/defibrillator/pacemakers will help EMS personnel save lives.
"I know how important this funding is to Maryland communities - often it's the difference between life and death," said Senator Mikulski. "First responders protect our homes and communities, and the federal government has a responsibility to protect them by providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs safer and smarter. Every day when our first responders report for duty, they don't know what they will face. That's why I fight every year for the equipment, training, and staffing our protectors and communities deserve."
"Now more than ever, we need to make sure that our first responders have the resources they need to protect our families and communities," said Senator Ben Cardin. "From fires to natural disasters to possible terrorist threats, these brave men and women put their lives on the line for all of us. Federal investment in our first responders is vital because we must ensure that they have the equipment and training they need to protect us from harm and to perform their jobs safely and efficiently."
Representative Ruppersberger said, "This is a true investment in the safety and security of our communities."
Prompt treatment is critical for a cardiac arrest patient. The sooner a sudden cardiac arrest patient is defibrillated, the greater his chances of survival. If a patient receives a shock within one minute, the chance of resuscitation is 90 percent; the chance of resuscitation drops to five percent if the victim waits 10 minutes for a shock.
The federal money comes to Baltimore County through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP). Grants from this program are used to pay for training for firefighters, equipment, firefighting vehicles and public fire safety education. Since 2001, Baltimore County's fire service has received more than $9 million from AFGP.