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Grant could mean new gear

Fire departments in Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena secured a federal grant that will allow for upgrades to life-saving equipment.

August 12, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
(File photo )

Firefighters in Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena could soon be using new life-saving defibrillators after the coalition secured a $1.14-million federal grant. 

Officials say paramedics in the three cities currently use outdated defibrillators, but the new 12-lead defibrillators capable of monitoring carbon monoxide and dioxide levels will improve patient treatment for better outcomes, according to city reports.

The high-tech tools, which cost about $24,000 each, are used to deliver an electrical shock to the heart muscle in heart attack victims. The devices also monitor heart beats and carbon monoxide levels.

Firefighters can also use the devices to check their level of exposure to carbon monoxide during a fire.

“It was costing a significant amount of money to repair the ones we had,” Glendale Battalion Chief Greg Godfrey said.

Firefighters and paramedics using the new devices will also be able to provide hospitals with more details on heart-attack patients before they arrive at the emergency room, officials said, allowing physicians more time to prepare.

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The three fire agencies, along with Arcadia and Monterey Park, applied for a $1.14-million federal grant last year to replace older-model defibrillators.

The agencies opted to apply for grant together because their daily interactions on emergency calls were increasing. 

The new devices allow fire departments in the tri-city mutual-aid area to better cooperate with other agencies in the region that have similar equipment, officials said.

While the federal government is footing 80% of the purchase price for the defibrillators, the agencies must provide 20% each. 

Glendale is likely to receive 25 new defibrillators, Burbank could get 15 and Pasadena may add five units to their department, Godfrey said. 

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