Saint Thomas River Park is breathing life into transport patients with a gift of a ventilator to Warren County EMS.
“We applied for a grant that would provide us ventilators for our ambulances,” said EMS director Preston Denney. “Our request was rejected.”
Denney said he met with St. Thomas River Park CEO Dale Humphrey, who graciously purchased one for the department.
A ventilator can be set so patients can trigger the machine to blow air into their lungs. But, if the patient fails to trigger it within a certain amount of time, the machine automatically blows air into the lungs. For EMS, the machines provide controlled ventilation in emergency situations and during critical care transports.
Each artificial respiration unit cost $5,353.
“We wanted five,” said Denney to members of the county Safety Committee. “I’m requesting you allow me to purchase one more. That would give us two. We can keep one here for transfers from the hospital and the second one we can put in the supervisor’s vehicle. Any call that comes in with chest pains, shortness of breath, etc. they go out to help. Normally, they are 2-3 minutes behind the ambulance. That way, that vent will be there and they can utilize it for transport from residences to the hospital. Or, if they are going to fly them, they can use it to the helicopter. This is a benefit to the citizens.”
Funds for the purchase would come from the department’s existing health equipment budget.
A motion to allow the purchase was made by Commissioner Carl D. Bouldin, who said Denney’s cost-saving measures within the department was the reason why.
Commissioner Randy England added, “Preston, in the short amount of time you’ve been in here, you’ve made some good changes.”
The motion was unanimously accepted.