Andrew Tanielian, Fort Worth Reporter
A grant from FEMA allows the Grapevine Fire Department to purchase 11 new EKG machines and defibrillators.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is giving the Grapevine Fire Department a $424,493 grant to buy new state of the art defibrillators.
The department will buy 11 new combo cardiac monitor defibrillators, nine of them will go in vehicles and the other two will be used during Grapevine’s two biggest festivals that can attract as many as 200,000 people.
The department's current units have not been replaced in at least 12 years, the longest the department has gone without updating them. While they are built to last, manufacturers recommend replacing the defibrillators every 6 years
Grapevine's fire department says the new defibrillators are state of the art.
"We have Bluetooth technology where we can send information directly from the Lifepak to our computer, computer to the hospital ahead of our patient,” said firefighter-paramedic Allen Richards.
There are also other advantages like durability.
"The other improvements are the longer life batteries. The unit itself, the Lifepak 15 is very durable. They've actually had drop tests where they've spun it in a dryer,” said Richards.
Without the grant, the department would have had to fall back on its original plan to replace one unit a year. Instead, the city can spend the money on behalf of the fire department for the machines and get reimbursed from the federal government.
The fire department hopes the orders can be placed in the next four to six weeks.
As for the old units, the manufacturer will buy them all back, refurbish them and then sell them at a much cheaper price to volunteer fire departments.