Due to the distance from a hospital, there is a strong need for the specialized equipment

When a cardiac emergency occurs and the nearest hospital is more than 50 miles away, having the right equipment nearby might just save a life.

With that in mind, Jodie Fleck, a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician intermediate with Rager Emergency Service Ambulance, is asking the Crook County Court for $24,000 to purchase a Zoll ECG Defibrillator.

“What that does is it’s a 12-lead that you get when you go to the hospital to see if you have a cardiac issue,” she said at a recent Crook County Court meeting held in Paulina last month.

Fleck explained that a vital part of her training is the ability to address cardiac issues, and that the defibrillator plays an important role in that effort.

“We have five different cardiac drugs we can carry to help people survive if they have a cardiac event,” she said. “In order to be able to determine what your cardiac event is, there is a machine called an ECG, which is built in with a defibrillator that allows us to see the rhythm of your heart. There are several different rhythms that hearts can have, and several different drugs that adjust it and help those different rhythms.”

Fleck stressed that in a cardiac event, it is important to administer the appropriate medication as soon as possible before the heart muscle gets tired and dies.

While making her request, Fleck pointed out that the closure of Rager Ranger Station has resulted in fewer emergency service volunteers in the area as well as declining funds.

“The federal employees have what they call a combined fund, and they can donate money from their paycheck that comes directly to whatever nonprofit they want to contribute to.”

Fleck concluded that during the past four years, they have lost about $14,400 in contributions.

“When we talked about Rager closing, the court said we are going to help this community (Paulina). We are going to pick up the slack,” she said. “I am asking for $24,000, a one-time request for the people of Crook County.”

After hearing Fleck’s request, Judge Mike McCabe told her that he could not provide a concrete answer, but would try to give her one after determining whether or not they could come up with the money.

County commissioners will address the topic again at their next regularly-scheduled meeting on Wednesday.

“It’s an issue that the commissioners heard, that’s an important part of the tools that are needed for such a rural area,” said Commissioner Ken Fahlgren. “We agree that it could save lives and would create a faster response.”

Consequently, they intend to do whatever they can to help the situation — if they can find the funds to do it.

“We have to deal with the money we have,” Fahlgren said, “and we don't have very much.”

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine