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Ohio BWC provides grants to pay for new fire department equipment that reduces the risk of injuries

Grants totaling more than $125,000 were recently received by the Deerfield Fire Department.

One grant was used to purchase smoke and fire detectors available to Deerfield residents only. That grant, for $2,000, was from First Alert and the Walmart Foundation of Alliance. The battery-operated detectors are multi-purpose, as they contain photoelectric sensors that detect smoke before fire breaks out along with a flame ionization detector.

Residents must bring along identification to pick up the detectors at the fire station. There is a limit of two per address.

A $21,000 grant for the purchase of an Easy Lift ambulance cot was also awarded to the department by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (OBWC). Although there must be two EMTs on each call, the newly designed cot makes it possible for one person to load a patient into an ambulance. Once the patient is placed on the cot and taken to the entrance to the transport vehicle and aligned with the rail inside, with a push of a button, the legs of the cot are drawn up as the cot is pulled into the ambulance, all without emergency response workers having to lift the cot and patient.

Those actions do away with having to lift the patient, basically eliminating work-related injuries to the responder.

The ambulance had to be retrofitted for the specialty equipment, such as the rail and controls, to be installed.

"We're trying to prevent accidents and injuries," Lt. Derek McCoy said, noting that they still have helmets to distribute from the summer open house Lids for Kids project.

A new Jaws of Life model was acquired through a $13,200 grant, also through OBWC. The new, rechargeable battery-operated set has onboard flashlights and can assist emergency responders in extricating victims from anything, according to Lt. Chuck Little.

McCoy and Little explained new, stronger materials used in cars to make them safer, especially the passenger cage, make cutting through the metal more difficult. "The car absorbs most of the energy impact, but the cage is still intact following an accident," Little said. "But with the new Jaws of Life, we can extricate from anything."


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