Departments to get grant funds

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 31, 2000

Two county fire departments will receive state grant money to boost firefighters’ medical training and supplies.

Monday, July 31, 2000

Two county fire departments will receive state grant money to boost firefighters’ medical training and supplies.

Email newsletter signup

The Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Medical Services awarded $5 million in grants to 603 fire departments and ambulance services, state Rep. Bill Ogg, D-Sciotoville, announced last week.

Funds for the grants were collected from seatbelt fines.

The grants can be used for continuing education and training equipment or patient care equipment such as defibrillators, backboards and other items.

Lawrence County received about $3,700 from the grants.

Ironton Fire Department can use $182 for patient care equipment and $1,793 for training.

Rome Township Volunteer Fire Department can use $162 for equipment and $1,652 for training.

"We file every year and usually receive it," Ironton fire chief Tom Runyon said.

The city department received about $8,000 three years for initial medical training and will use new money for continuing education in patient care, Runyon said.

The department also tries to match the equipment money to add extra medical equipment to its trucks, he said.

Training allows fire crews to offer basic emergency medical service (EMS) at fire scenes as well as boosts their ability to respond to disasters, Runyon said.

"If we have a victim down in a hazardous environment and we have the equipment to enter a confined space or hazardous materials situation, we can start patient care until we get them out to where an ambulance can take over," he said.

At the Rome fire station, crews will also put the training money to good use, spokesperson Mike Boster said.

"It’s particular use is for first responder training," he said.

First responders are emergency personnel who are the first to arrive or designated to arrive first at an emergency scene.

For example, fire departments are first responders to fires while ambulance crews are first responders for heart attack calls, Boster said.

At other times, when emergencies call for police, fire and ambulance personnel, it would help that anyone who arrived first had medical training – the point of the grant’s training money, he added.

"It’s very important to do this because an ambulance may be away from its district or on another run, for instance," Boster said. "Then, a first responder can be toned out for basic life support until a squad gets there."

Also, medical training allows firefighters to not only provide care if they arrive first but also it allows firefighters to work better with ambulance crews.

They are trained in patient care and become more aware of actions the EMS will take, and then are better able to help them, Boster said.

"It’s really a great program," he said.

County fire departments can apply on an annual basis. The medical training is provided by Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Service, Boster said.

In the past, several firefighters and some fire departments have taken first-responder medical training, he added.