BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A state grant will fund the purchase of a new ambulance and heart monitors in Botetourt County.
According to Botetourt County Fire & EMS, $175,000 in funding was awarded by the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Emergency Medical Services and the Rescue Squad Assistance Fund (RSAF).
The funds will be split three ways: $140,000 in funding will assist the county in its efforts to purchase a new ambulance for Eagle Rock Fire & Rescue, $32,538.89 will assist with the purchase of two new heart monitors for existing ambulances, and $2,795.97 will assist in the creation of a fire and EMS recruitment commercial.
The department has already begun to use the two new heart monitors.
“The new ones that we have here, they’re able to transmit the 12-lead EKGs to the hospital before we ever get there. So a cardiologist can look at them and a patient having some sort of cardiac issue can get care as soon as they hit the doors there, and our older monitors don’t have that capability. So that was huge for us,” says Camille Black, battalion chief of EMS for Botetourt Fire-EMS.
Black says the advanced feature is particularly important when it comes to responding to cardiac arrest calls in distant areas.
“If we’re 45 minutes from the hospital out in the more northern areas of the county, the EKG can get there within minutes,” says Black.
“These grants are a huge benefit to Botetourt County and our first responders,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Billy Martin. “Any time we can find ways to collaborate and enhance services to the community without increasing the tax burden on the citizens is a win-win.”
Eagle Rock Fire & Rescue will also receive a new ambulance to replace their old one.
“I cannot wait for the new, state-of-the-art ambulance to hit the road, providing safer and more dependable service to the Eagle Rock community and beyond,” said Eagle Rock Fire & Rescue Chief Daryl Johns. “This is a great win for us all.”
The grants require matching funds from the county, which is supported in the current fiscal year budget.