New Fire Department technology saves lives

Only weeks after the Taylor Fire Department received three 12-lead EKG Phillips heart monitors from Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center, the new technology has saved lives.

“We have had four lives saved already using this equipment,” said Bob Tompos, Battalion Chief for the Taylor Fire Department EMS services. He said the three units given to the Taylor Fire Department are currently operational citywide.

"The unique thing about these units is that they allow us the opportunity to be proactive in addition to reactive in treating people," Tompos said. The EKG equipment is used to get a recording of the electrical impulses associated with cardiac conditions.

Tompos explained the success of the units during a recent training session  at the Midtown Fire Station, which drew fire medics from Taylor, Allen Park, Melvindale and Dearborn Heights.

“This equipment has the potential to save hundreds of lives over time,” said Fire Chief Vince Fedel. “It is also a good example of the regional cooperation between the first responders and the healthcare system."

Taylor EMS Captain Herb Proctor said the equipment will allow the fire medics to save a life and/or reduce the amount of heart damage that may occur in a person in cardiac distress.

“This is the latest and greatest technology -- better than anything we have had until now," Proctor said. "The Taylor Fire Department is very progressive and we do our best to make sure we provide the best service possible to our residents."

Tompos said that in the near future, the system will be set up so that the EKG information can be transmitted from the rescue site to the hospital via PDA or “Blue Tooth” technology, allowing the emergency room medical staff to make critical decisions regarding the treatment of patients even before they arrive at the hospital.