Whether residents know it or not, federal grant money that will pay for two cardiac monitors will make an impact on everyone in the area served by Highland Ambulance.
"It would have fallen on the taxpayers of the town to meet this obligation if we had not received this grant," said Christopher Smith, the company president.
But, Highland Ambulance did receive the more than $73,000 in grant money from the Department of Homeland Security. When you subtract salaries, that equals nearly 33 percent of the company's operating budget.
"We serve six different towns," said Smith. "To go to each of these towns and to try to raise additional funds would have been a difficult process at this time."
Highland says the new monitors will be used close to 80 percent of the time that they are on a call.
Amalio Jusino, a paramedic in North Adams who wrote the grant request for Highland, said while the devices are called cardiac monitors, they have many uses.
"They are also the new state-of-the-art device to monitor respiratory distress patients," said Jusino. "They also do SBO2, which is oxygen monitoring."
Jusino began writing for grants back in 2005. He said there is a sense of pride when a department like Highland has success.
"It is very rewarding for me to having experienced 23 years in the fire and EMS to say OK we brought the technology to a rural community and we released some of the burden from the taxpayers," said Jusino.
Highland hopes to have the monitors in use by early next month.
Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.