The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

FMDH Stat Ambulance Receives Upgrades


A.J. Etherington/The Courier

FMDH Director of Emergency Medical Services Mark Becmer demonstrates the defibrillator feature on a new Zoll cardio monitor on March 1.

Director of Emergency Medical Services Mark Becmer and members of the Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital Stat Ambulance team met with the Courier March 1 to demonstrate their newly acquired state-of-the-art equipment. On display was the newly acquired medical Integrated Patient Transport and Loading System or "cot" for FMDH's primary ambulance, which was installed and ready for use that same day. Also on display were the ambulance crew's Zoll cardio monitor and the Lucas 2 Mechanical Cardio Device.

Highlights from the ambulance cot include a fully electronic control system which allows EMTs to load and unload patients without having to carry their weight. It also automatically lifts and lowers patients, contains storage areas and platforms so that medical equipment and patient belongings can be carried together, saving time for emergency crews. It also features emergency flashing lights and white lights to guide crews and increase visibility. The cot also contains a locking rail system and five-point harness, so if an accident were to occur with a patient in transport they would be fully restrained in the ambulance. According to Becmer, prior to this if the ambulance were to roll over, the cot would have come loose from the previous restraints.

Also, a highlighted newer tool for the crew was the Zoll Cardio Monitor which features a 12-lead eco-cardiogram monitor which can take real-time data of a patient's cardiovascular diagnostics and send them wirelessly to the FMDH Emergency Room. "This allows the doctor to start diagnostics ahead of time, and shortens time between EMS arrival at the ER and the patient's treatment or transfer to another care facility," explained Becmer. A second feature of the Zoll is that it also acts as an emergency defibrillator, which can shock the patient's heart during a heart attack without the monitor having to be removed.

The last fairly new item on display by Becmer and his crew was the Lucas 2 mechanical cardiopulmonary resuscitation device, which applies chest compressions automatically to a patient. The device allows EMT personnel to focus on other forms of care while monitoring the device. According to longtime EMT Leroy Kuntz, "It allows for something else you can be doing with your skills to save the patient's life," explaining that the device never fatigues, never quits and can be programmed to provide the necessary steps of compressions and breaths or continuous compressions depending on the situation.

Becmer and his crew were excited to have the new equipment and hopeful it will help save lives in Valley County by improving their capabilities and safety. Becmer also pointed out that EMT classes are available at FMDH and that the Stat crew is always in need of members for paid volunteer positions.

If you are interested in becoming an EMT or have questions for the EMT staff, Becmer is available by phone at 228-3648.

Correction: Last week, the Courier misstated in the caption of the Ambulance story on Page 5A that the ambulance pictured was "Valley County's Sole Operable Ambulance." This should have read: "FMDH's Sole Operable Ambulance," as many communities in Valley County operate ambulances. We regret the error.


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