Merrill Fire Department receives $100,000 AFG grant
The Merrill Fire Department was recently notified by the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that it has been selected to receive an AFG (Assistance to Firefighters Grant) for the specific purchase of three new advanced life saving (ALS) cardiac monitor/defibrillators. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) AFG is an important component of the Federal Administration’s larger, coordinated effort to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to fire and fire related hazards.
The purpose of the AFG is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters. The primary goal of the AFG is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. AFG funds are available for equipment necessary for response to incidents. The allocation of awards is a highly competitive process; awards are determined based on an applicant’s ability to both address program priorities and provide the most compelling justification for their need. Applicants whose requests meet these criteria are reviewed by a panel of fire service personnel from across the country.
The Merrill Fire Department was seeking funding to replace three aging and obsolete monitors/defibrillators, one for each of the paramedic ambulances in Merrill. With the grant monies the new equipment will be industry standard, incorporating new technology such as: the ability to capture, diagnose and transmit 12 lead EKG’s to receiving hospitals from the patient’s pre-hospital location. The new monitors/defibrillators will also be able to perform End-tidal CO2/Capnography monitoring with waveform, carbon monoxide monitoring and transcutaneous pacing. With this new equipment, patient care pre-hospital will be more advanced and communication with the hospital will give the patient an even greater chance of survival while experiencing a cardiac or some other medical related emergency. The new equipment costs will be just over $100,000 with 90% being paid through the grant and the remaining 10% being local match monies, allowing Merrill’s EMS service to meet current medical directives within their region, as well as bringing them into compliance with standards set forth by the America Heart Association (AHA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Homeland Security Capabilities list.
The Merrill Fire Department, an all-hazard emergency organization provides ALS emergency medical services for the southern half of Lincoln County including the city of Merrill, the towns of Birch, Corning, Harding, Merrill, Pine River, Rock Falls, Russell, Schley and part of Harrison. The area covers more than 525 square miles with a population in excess of 20,000 residents.
To date this is the single largest grant the Merrill Fire Department has been awarded through the AFG program. In years past the department has been awarded over $200,000 in varying amounts to purchase needed equipment, including new firefighting turnout gear, portable radios, thermal imaging cameras, emergency response pagers, a vehicle exhaust removal system as well as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. All the equipment grant monies have enhanced the equipment for the safety of the Merrill personnel and the residents they work to protect.