By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory received permission to apply for a K21 Health Foundation grant for mechanical CPR devices during a board meeting on Tuesday, April 6.
WWFT EMS Coordinator Chris Fancil made the request. Last year, WWFT received a grant from K21 to purchase Autopulse devices for each fire department in Kosciusko County. This year’s grant, totaling $67,575, would allow WWFT to purchase extended warranty plans for all 17 of the county’s Autopulse devices. WWFT has three of the devices for the territory.
He said the fire territory has been using their devices for six months. Through Autopulse, WWFT has improved return of pulses and survival rate for patients. In 2019, prior to having the devices, WWFT got pulses back 22% of the time, with a survival rate of 9%. For 2020, WWFT utilized Autopulse 24 times and got pulses back 11 times.
“In just six months of using the device, we improved pulse return rate by 20%,” said Fancil. “And we had six patients go home, which doesn’t seem like a lot. But out of the 24 times we used it, that means we had a survival rate of 25%.”
For 2021 thus far, WWFT has responded to 14 cardiac arrests and used the Autopulse devices. In nine of those instances, pulses returned; five of those patients survived.
In total, the Autopulse devices were used county-wide 62 times.
“I daresay with the grants we received from K21 in recent years, that’s probably the most utilized funds we’ve gotten from them,” said Fancil.
The WWFT board approved the application, which will now go to the county firefighter’s association for further discussion.
“I think this is one of the greatest things you guys have ever done,” said Mayor Joe Thallemer, who sits on the board. “The technology on these things, they’ve changed the way you do business. I’m very supportive of this equipment.”
“It’s faster, it’s better,” said Fancil. “I think we really need to keep this going, not just for us but everyone in the county. The results, we can’t argue with.”
The board’s next meeting is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 4.