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Tenn. dept. receives EMS equipment donation

A donated monitor/defibrillator worth $35,000 will help EMTs and paramedics better treat patients

By Jay Powell
The Daily Herald

COLUMBIA, Tenn. The Columbia Fire Department received a step up in its first-responder services by accepting a donation of a monitor/defibrillator from Maury Regional Healthcare Foundation to assist paramedics and EMTs.

The donation and training the department will receive is a $35,000 value, funded entirely by the foundation’s board of directors. The Columbia City Council officially voted to accept the donation at Thursday’s regular meeting.

“It’s a great partnership that we’ve had over the years with one of the greatest hospitals in the country. The Healthcare Foundation listened to our request to try and update our advanced life support and medical equipment on our rescue unit, and we’re glad that they honored that request,” Assistant Fire Chief Ty Cobb said. “We thank the rest of the leadership team for making this happen and making this a successful project that will save many lives here in Columbia.”

Maury Regional CEO Alan Watson said one of the hospital’s goals has always been to improve the health and wellness of the community. Part of that includes before patients even reach the hospital.

“We not only want to take care of patients at the hospital, but also want to be sure we’re improving the lives of people before they come to the facility and after they leave,” Watson said. “Working with our Healthcare Foundation to make this donation to the fire department helps us fulfill one of those goals. We’re very proud with the partnership between Maury Regional EMS and the Columbia Fire Department. They work very well together.”

The Maury Regional Healthcare Foundation celebrated 10 years of service in June. Over the past five years, the foundation has worked to provide services beyond what is offered at Maury Regional Medical Center, executive director Joe Kilgore said.

Often, firefighter units arrive on the scene of a call before EMS, Critical Care Paramedic at CFD Cody Hill said. With the new equipment, firefighters can see if a patient is having a heart attack and its location prior to EMS arrival.

“We’ll be able to do all of this before EMS arrives on the scene and we can notify the hospital. We’ll also notify a cath lab to let them know our EMS crew is going to be coming in with a heart attack, so they can kind of get the ball rolling on everything,” Hill said. “That’ll save them minutes, which of course could be somebody’s life, and they can turn around and go right to the hospital without having to sit on the scene running those tests.”

The fire department also celebrated two retirements at Thursday’s council meeting.

Capt. Wayne Romesburg is retiring after serving the department for 33 years. A retirement ceremony in his honor is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 at Station No. 1, located at 1000 S. Garden Street.

Firefighter John Steele is retiring after 27 years with the Columbia Fire Department. His retirement ceremony will be at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 at Station No. 1.

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