Grants awarded to Dundee fire entities to fund power cots

Two Dundee-area fire entities have been awarded federal funds to outfit their ambulances with power cots and lift systems.

The West Dundee Fire Department received a $102,000 Assistance to Firefighters Grant to purchase and install two sets of the new equipment, Chief Randy Freise said. The electronic cot and a power-load fastener system will automatically lift a patient on a stretcher into an ambulance, he said, thus preventing first responders from injuring their backs.

The East Dundee & Countryside Fire Protection District, which already purchased two power cots in recent years, was awarded a $61,905 grant to fund the two complementary fastener systems, Deputy Chief Jason Parthun said.

"It's much safer for our employees, as well as the patient," he said, noting the equipment more securely restrains the cots while the ambulance is moving.

Both governing boards recently approved the grants, which require each fire department to match 5 percent of the funds awarded: $5,100 for West Dundee, and $3,095 for East Dundee.

Freise, who oversees both fire departments, said they will save about $2,100 each by placing the order together and combining training and installation efforts.

"Everything will be done all at the same time, which coincides with our cooperative efforts for standardization of equipment," Freise said.

The four fire departments within the QuadCom dispatch service area have been implementing various consolidation tactics, such as sharing resources and unifying the way they respond to calls.

Installing the power cots and lift systems in East and West Dundee ambulances aligns with those efforts, Parthun said. The Carpentersville Fire Department also received federal funds to install the same equipment two years ago.

"That'll provide for a lot of efficiencies on calls we go on together," he said. "This is another example of how cooperative efforts are helping everybody."

Parthun said he expects the equipment to be in full service by late summer or early fall. Training will take place before the systems are delivered, he said, so firefighters can begin using them as soon as they're installed.

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