Defibrillator grant money coming to Franklin County, North Quabbin

  • A portable defibrillator at the Greenfield Fire Station on Hope Street. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Firefighter Joseph D’Astous and Capt. John Whitney of the Greenfield Fire Department with a portable defibrillator at the station on Hope Street. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 6/21/2022 3:33:35 PM

Sixteen municipalities in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region have been awarded $33,148.67 in state and federal grant money to equip emergency response vehicles with automated external defibrillators.

Towns from Hawley to Greenfield to Phillipston will enjoy four-figure reimbursement grants between $1,540 and $3,012.98, according to the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. The money is part of a total $527,000 for 246 vehicles serving approximately 70% of the state’s cities and towns.

The Hawley Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $2,000, and Chief Greg Cox said it will buy one new defibrillator and the paddles to go with it. He said the equipment ranges in price from $1,500 to $4,000.

Cox noted his department has three or four defibrillators it got through a state grant in 2008 or 2009.

“They last quite a while, with maintenance. And we only use them once or twice a year, thankfully,” he said, adding that batteries are replaced every couple of years and each unit is tested at least monthly. “You only use them when someone’s heart has stopped.”

The Greenfield Fire Department was awarded $2,500. Chief Robert Strahan explained the department is ordering a Physio-Control LIFEPAK, as the Hawley department has done. He said most of the department’s fire apparatus and administrative vehicles are equipped with defibrillators, which he said are brought to “every cardiac arrest we go to.”

Erik Demetropoulos, Sunderland’s police chief, explained his town used the reimbursement grant and some American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money to provide new defibrillators to the police and fire departments as well as Town Offices. He mentioned the town had some expiring LIFEPAK 500s, which the manufacturers no longer make parts for, having replaced them with LIFEPAK 1000s. He said these are compatible with South County EMS, the regional ambulance service provider.

The Phillipston Fire Department, receiving $2,021, is one of 12 getting federal monies.

That money, and the state grants, are made possible by an act of the state Legislature.

“Our administration remains committed to making sure local public safety officials have the tools they need to save lives,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a press release. “We thank our partners in the Legislature for their support of this program.”

The area fire departments receiving grant funding are as follows: Athol, $2,272.95; Buckland, $1,749; Deerfield, $2,500; Erving, $1,699; Gill Police, $2,500; Greenfield, $2,500; Hawley, $2,000; Leverett, $2,125.29; $3,012.98; New Salem Police, $3,012.98; Northfield Police, $2,500; Sunderland Police, $2,500; Royalston, $2,29.60; Warwick, $1,794; Wendell, $1,540.32; Whately, $2,125.53; Phillipston, $2,021.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or
413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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