West Memphis Fire Department shows off new equipment

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — There’s new life-saving equipment in West Memphis.

At the beginning of the year, the West Memphis Fire Department’s EMT service was facing hardship with only one unit available for emergency care. Today there are three.

West Memphis charge paramedic Charles Brakensiek recently showed off one of the department`s newest devices, the auto pulse, offering chest compressions if a patient’s heart stops.

EMS Coordinator Derrick Clay says it wasn’t long ago when the EMT department was facing troubling times, with just one unit on hand. Now the department has equipment bigger cities may not have.

“We are moving forward, we are compatible now with other cities around us,” Clay said.

The new automated CPR machine has already been used, helping save lives in West Memphis.

“We`ve got top notched equipment for saving lives,” paramedic Robert Patrick. “It’s really good to have all of this.”

That includes a Zoll monitor that gives hospitals a snapshot of a patients heart rhythm.

“They will actually have this information as fast as you can send a text message,” Patrick said.

The new equipment came with an $80,000 price tag. The majority of that was paid for through grants.

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