New Fire District No. 6 equipment will aid heart-attack patients

WIMER — A federal grant will give Evans Valley emergency responders a new tool to treat people with heart-attack symptoms.

Evans Valley Fire District No. 6 will use a $19,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency to buy a new 12-lead heart monitor that can diagnose the kind of heart attack a patient is having.

The monitor will allow emergency medical technicians to notify hospitals about a heart-attack patient before he or she arrives at the hospital, said District 6 Lt. Mark Pawlick. That should help improve patients' survival rate, he said.

"We're excited. This is something new to add to our arsenal of equipment to help people out," he said.

"They say, with a heart attack, 'time is muscle,' " Pawlick said. "The new machine will provide early diagnosis. It doesn't delay transport time and will allow a pre-alert to the hospital when a certain condition is detected.

"This way we can bypass the ER (emergency room) and go straight to the (cardiac) lab."

The fire district will have to provide a 5 percent match for the federal funds. The grant was included in $139,000 awarded to fire departments and organizations around Oregon.

Pawlick said the machine could not have been obtained for the rural 26-square-mile district without the grant and money raised by the District 6 auxiliary.

Patricia Ott, auxiliary vice president, said the group organizes three fundraisers per year — two spaghetti feeds and an auction — to supplement the district's $268,000 budget.

"We're very glad we could help the department with something like this," she said.

"That's one of the auxiliary's major focuses, fundraising for equipment the department cannot afford or needs matching dollars for. It's a small community out here and most of the money we were able to give came from local residents supporting the district."

Pawlick said the new machine would likely be ordered in coming weeks.

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Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. E-mail her at

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