Rutherford County Fire Rescue (RCFR) recently purchased a total of six Lifepak 15 cardiac monitors with funds from Gov. Bill Lee and the General Assembly’s 2021-22 Local Government Grant program aiding Tennessee counties and cities/towns in the recovery effort of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rutherford County received a total of $1,770,566 from the Governor’s local support grant. RCFR was allocated around $300,000 of those funds by the full County Commission to purchase the cardiac monitors along with extrication tools for its fire trucks.
“This is a big deal for our department and certainly for the citizens we serve,” said RCFR Chief Larry Farley. “The addition of these cardiac monitors can have a huge impact on a cardiac patient’s outcome.”
RCFR and its three full-time paid fire stations provide basic (BLS) and advanced life support (ALS) services to the unincorporated areas of Rutherford County. The department has three shifts and a total of 11 paramedics.
“These monitors are the exact same as our partners at Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services (RCEMS) use,” added Farley. “This allows our crews to seamlessly transfer care over to them when the ambulance arrives on scene.”
RCFR responded to a total of 7,882 fire, medical, rescue, and hazardous materials incidents in 2020, 2,672 of which were emergency medical incidents where they either assisted RCEMS or initiated patient care. Farley noted that RCFR was the first arriving responder unit on 667 of those calls, providing either BLS or ALS level of care.
This accounted for at least a 16 percent increase in call volume from 2019 to 2020, attributed to unprecedented growth in the county as well as increased burden placed on resources due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are grateful for Governor Lee’s commitment to local government and the funds that have allowed our fire department to make these life-saving purchases at no cost to our local citizens,” said Mayor Bill Ketron.
“Ideally, we never want to be in a situation where we have to use these monitors,” said Farley, “but the reality is that they will be used often. Having this technology available for the citizens and visitors of our county is just one more way we strive to provide progressive and professional care in our community.”