Defibrillator Saves Heart Attack Victim, New Gear Aids In Rescue

Margaretta Township Fire Department

ERIE COUNTY, Ohio -- On March 17, 2006, a 73-year-old man requested the EMS unit for chest pain. Upon arrival, the patient was assessed and a 12-lead EKG done. The assessment determined that the individual was having a heart attack, prompting medics to be more aggressive in their treatment.

The information was forwarded to the local hospital ER and the patient was stabilized and transported. When the EMS unit arrived at the ER, hospital staff was ready for a serious cardiac case. Within two hours, the patient received additional treatment and underwent angioplasty to correct blockages in his coronary arteries. The patient completely recovered and is back home. Without the Fire Grant, the department would not have these units in service.

As a side benefit of receiving these units, we were able to take the older life-pack 10's and place them in our front line engines. This gives us the capability of having four advanced life support units and always places a cardiac monitor at the scene of any EMS or fire scene.

The department was fortunate to receive another AFG grant in 2004 for new defibrillators, SCBA face pieces, SCBA cylinders, turnout gear, hoses, Rapid Attack Monitors, and training to certify 100 percent of members to meet NFPA standards.

The new Life-Pak 12 cardiac monitor/defibrillators can be used by the Paramedics as an ALS unit or by the EMTs as an AED. They have 12-lead capability, pulse oximetery, and end-title CO2 sensors, allowing department paramedics to begin aggressive cardiac care for those suffering from heart attacks. The Life-pak 12s are used daily and have already identified several heart attacks in progress, allowing our paramedics to better treat those patients.

Several years ago, we responded under automatic aid to a neighboring village for a house fire where two elderly individuals were found inside. Both were removed from the fire within 13 minutes of the call. Both were in cardiac arrest. CPR was performed but no advanced life support equipment was on the scene for another 10 minutes. Neither patient survived. Now, thanks to the Fire Grant, the department has the capability to immediately perform cardiac monitoring and defibrillation if required.

"We have been blessed to receive two Fire Grants. We feel that the process is straightforward and fair," Chief Keimer said. "The online grant process is easy to complete and very well laid out. The first grant has improved the health and safety of our members by removing carbon monoxide and diesel soot from the building. The second grant for the LP-12s, RAMs, LDH and midrange hose lines has already allowed us to provide better quality EMS care for our residents and to save property."

The Margaretta Fire Department is a combination department with eight full-time career members and 17 paid on call members who are dedicated to providing quality service to the Margaretta Township and Castalia Village.

The department provides fire suppression, emergency medical services, rescue operations, fire prevention, fire safety inspections/preplans, fire safety programs, and EMS programs. All members are cross-trained as firefighters and EMTs.

The department covers about 50 square miles of territory that includes everything from heavy industry to rural farm property as well as part of Sandusky Bay.

What They Bought With The 2003 Grant:

  • Vehicle Exhaust Systems

What They Bought With The 2004 Grant:

  • Two Life-Pak 12 cardiac monitor/defibrillators
  • Two Rapid Attack Monitors
  • 1,000 feet of large diameter supply hose
  • 1,000 feet of attack hose
  • SCBA face pieces
  • Turnout gear
  • Technical Rescue training materials
Last updated February 11, 2021