FIRE

The Calvert Recorder - - Busi­ness - Twit­ter: @CalRecMICHAEL @CalRecDANDAN

Fire­house Subs Pub­lic Safety Foun­da­tion awarded more than $70,000 worth of life­sav­ing equip­ment to the Prince Fred­er­ick Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment, Solomons Vol­un­teer Res­cue Squad and Fire Depart­ment and Me­chan­icsville Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment in a cer­e­mony Wed­nes­day at the Fire­house Subs Prince Fred­er­ick lo­ca­tion. Holzberger said Wed­nes­day at a live demon­stra­tion event at the Fire­house Subs Restau­rant in Prince Fred­er­ick.

From the foun­da­tion, Holzberger’s depart­ment got ex­tri­ca­tion equip­ment worth $30,000 that will al­low first re­spon­ders to cut through ma­te­ri­als and reach car ac­ci­dent vic­tims in need of med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

“This is a lighter prod­uct, more cut­ting and more spread­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. And there’s just a lot more ca­pa­bil­i­ties with this,” Holzberger said Wed­nes­day. “It’s a big step up.”

At the south­ern end of Calvert, the Solomons Vol­un­teer Res­cue Squad and Fire Depart­ment re­ceived three Lu­cas fully-au­to­mated com­pres­sion sys­tems val­ued at nearly $35,000. The CPR devices will help

first re­spon­ders deliver un­in­ter­rupted chest com­pres­sions at a con­stant rate and depth to pa­tients in car­diac ar­rest and im­prove the pa­tients’ chances of sur­vival.

“Hav­ing a Lu­cas [sys­tem] on each of our three am­bu­lances means a lot to the depart­ment be­cause we are the fur­thest com­pany from the hospi­tal and the busiest com­pany in the county,” said Solomons EMS Lt. Ali­son Dickson, who noted her com­pany an­swers more than 300 calls a month.

Dickson said the dif­fer­ence be­tween the fully-au­to­mated Lu­cas sys­tem and do­ing man­ual CPR is night and day.

“The ma­chine makes per­fect com­pres­sions, both on depth and in tim­ing, and there’s no breaks. So it al­lows the medics to per­form their life­sav­ing mea­sures and es­tab­lish de­fin­i­tive air­ways with­out stop­ping CPR for any rea­son,” she said. “We’ve been on so many CPR

calls, and the first thing we look for now be­fore we even get on lo­ca­tion is [to] make sure our Lu­cas de­vice is ready to go.”

Me­chan­icsville Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment in St. Mary’s County re­ceived new rope res­cue and ve­hi­cle sta­bi­liza­tion equip­ment worth $7,300.

“As far as our depart­ment op­er­a­tions go, we wanted to in­crease our res­cue ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and we didn’t ex­actly have the bud­get to make that hap­pen,” Me­chan­icsville VFD Res­cue Capt. Perry Bryant said.

Bryant said the new res­cue bas­ket is about 50 per­cent lighter than the one the depart­ment had.

“As far as res­cues go, ei­ther in a high-an­gle environment when we’re lift­ing straight up, it makes for an eas­ier load on the roof sys­tem, as well as on the res­cuers that are haul­ing them up, so it’s less ef­fort there,” Bryant said. “And if we’re in a lower-an­gled evo­lu­tion

where we’re com­ing up a hill, it’s less weight for the res­cuers to carry. It im­proves ef­fi­ciency and makes for safer res­cues.”

In ad­di­tion to the money from the foun­da­tion, two Calvert fire de­part­ments re­cently re­ceived small grants from the Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources to help them buy new equip­ment.

The Prince Fred­er­ick Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment re­ceived $3,000 from DNR to help pay for the cost of a new brush unit.

“The old truck is 16 years old and no longer meets the needs of the depart­ment,” said Michelle Sig­ona, the fire depart­ment’s pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer.

The new brush unit that will have in­creased ca­pa­bil­i­ties will al­low the depart­ment to han­dle brush and wild land fire in­ci­dents in the county, Sig­ona said.

St. Leonard Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment and Res- cue Squad re­ceived close to $1,000 to help pay for equip­ment for a new Jeep, ac­cord­ing to the depart­ment’s As­sis­tant Chief Tommy Buck­mas­ter.

Buck­mas­ter said the pre­vi­ous 1992 Jeep was to­taled about two years ago in an ac­ci­dent. The DNR grant will help cover the cost for the equip­ment on the Jeep. The new ve­hi­cle is used to re­spond to for­est fires, which he said the depart­ment deals with about 10 times a year.

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