More people in East Marion and Greenport should survive life-threatening emergencies thanks to a $52,203 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the cooperation of the two hamlets’ fire departments.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-Brooklyn) announced the grant this week, crediting former chief and current East Marion rescue Lieutenant Gregory Wallace for drafting an application for the money under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
The grant will enable East Marion to purchase advanced lifesaving equipment to replace its basic equipment and to train its EMTs in the use of the upgraded equipment. East Marion was the only North Fork fire department without the advanced equipment, Mr. Wallace said.
The advanced equipment will enable EMTs to start treatment on the scene so patients don’t have to wait until they arrive at hospitals, he said. With the equipment, they can start IVs, provide medications and perform advanced procedures for which they will receive special training, he said. The grant will pay for advanced airway equipment, cardiac monitors, advanced cardiac life support equipment and blood glucose testing systems.
“It would have been cost-prohibitive for a small department,” Mr. Wallace said.
What makes the grant even more valuable is an agreement struck between East Marion and Greenport to work together to provide advanced emergency services. Greenport already has six or seven EMTs trained on the advanced equipment, but East Marion has only three or four. Under the agreement, EMTs from either department can answer calls in either hamlet. By combining forces, more trained EMTs end up being available in both communities, Mr. Wallace said.
The money will cover most of the equipment, and outfitting East Marion’s ambulances and to train EMTs to use the advanced equipment, Chief Keith Baker said.
“This essential grant ensures that the East Marion Fire District will continue to have the basic resources required to do their jobs, improve safety and save lives,” Mr. Schumer said in a press release. First responders throughout Long Island have been hurting from budget cuts, the senator noted.
“These funds are truly a life saving investment,” he said. “We can never truly repay our first responders for their heroic efforts and dedication to duty,” he said. “But we can make certain that they have the training and resources they need to do their job and do their job well.”