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Bloomfield Genoa City Fire & Rescue
News & Upcoming Events





Bloomfield, Genoa City, Pell Lake
Better care, less time

Monitor can reduce time it takes to treat heart attack patients


March 13, 2008
They say when you're having a heart attack, time is "muscle."




 That's why the Bloomfield-Genoa City Fire and Rescue Department is using a method that could shave off 45 minutes to an hour from the time it takes to administer medical care.

If time is muscle, the Bloomfield-Genoa City department is flexing to provide quicker care to heart attack patients.

Fire Chief Brad Poltermann, Assistant Chief Fred Schalow and Rescue Capt. Jeremy Tamillo said they're using a Lifepak 12 cardio monitor to transmit EKGs to hospitals.

"We're the only department in the county that has this type of monitor and is using it this way," Poltermann said.

Typically, when rescue picks up a patient, that person is taken to a hospital such as Mercy Walworth Medical Center.

That's where the leads are applied, the EKG is read, and doctors decide whether the patient needs to be transferred to a different hospital, such as St. Luke's in Milwaukee.

In such a case, the patient likely would need transport via helicopter.

But by using the Lifepak 12 and a "12 lead" system, the EKG can be taken in the back of the ambulance.

Once that data is transmitted, hospital personnel can make the determination before the patient arrives whether helicopter transport is needed.

"Just to get to the hospital can take 20 minutes," Schalow said.

According to Poltermann, there is a protocol system being developed that would allow rescue personnel to basically take patients to the hospital to be loaded onto a helicopter, if needed.

Prior to Monday, the department was using the Lifepak 12 with paramedics from Paratech.

Now, department members are certified to use the cardio monitor without those paramedics present.

But it's not just the monitor that's going to help save lives.

"Because of our department's system, it makes it simple to apply this because we have people here 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Poltermann said.


The Bloomfield-Genoa City department has one Lifepak 12 monitor, and another one is "on order," Poltermann said.

The town of Bloomfield purchased one monitor, and much of the cost of the other one was paid for by an anonymous donation.

The monitors were purchased for $16,000 each.

"We were able to negotiate with the manufacturer one brand-new monitor for the refurbished price," Poltermann said.

With one of the monitors, the department used the $11,000 donation and $5,000 of money that was placed in the budget.

According to Poltermann, the department is working with the EMS coordinator at Mercy Walworth Medical Center to implement the new system.

He also thanked Bloomfield and Genoa City officials for their support.

"That really made a lot of this possible," Poltermann said
  Written by Steve Targo

Reprinted from the Lake Geneva Regional News
original article can be found here



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