Fire, squad get grant money

Messenger photos by Joe Wyse
Chief Dave Taylor (left) and firefighter Barry Ladley of the Tri-County Joint Fire District listen as Zale Maxwell of the Tarhe Shrine Club explains the details involved in a $9,600 grant to the department.
Zale Maxwell (left) of the Tarhe Shrine Club presents a check for $12,000 to paramedics Sandy McMurray and Janie Ladley of the Sterling Joint Ambulatory District.

The Tri-County Joint Fire District and the Sterling Joint Ambulatory District in Mount Sterling recently received extra financial help in the form of two checks with a combined value of over $20,000.

The checks represent grants from the Tarhe Shrine Club of Fairfield/Perry Counties. Zale Maxwell, a past president of the Shrine Club, delivered them on Oct. 31.

If it wasn’t for Joann Hillman, Maxwell’s mother-in-law, the fire and emergency squad leaders wouldn’t have known to apply for the grants.

According to firefighter Bruce Alkire, Hillman stopped by the fire station one day, saying she wasn’t feeling well. While a paramedic gave her a check-up, somebody mentioned that the fire department needed new equipment. Hillman recommended that the fire district apply for a grant the Shrine Club offers to benefit pediatric burn victims.

Following her advice, the fire and ambulatory districts applied. The result is $9,600 for the fire district and $12,000 for the ambulatory district.

“I couldn’t ask for a better mother-in-law,” Maxwell said after handing over the two checks. “You just have to be careful, because if you say something around her, she’ll take [the idea] and go.”

With the money, the ambulatory district plans to buy three pediatric emergency kits and one or two devices to monitor the oxygen and carbon monoxide content in a victim’s blood. The pediatric kits are designed to treat children who suffer burns and smoke inhalation.

According to Fire Chief Dave Taylor, the kits are more convenient for treating children than the conventional medical equipment.

“We’ve always been able to treat children,” Taylor said, “but this way, when you know [the victim] is a kid, you grab one kit.”

The fire district, with their grant money, plans to buy a thermal imaging camera and an automatic defibrillator. The camera can detect fire burning within walls and “see” people through thick smoke. The defibrillator is used to restart a heart that is still alive but has gone into cardiac arrest.

The Tri-County Joint Fire District covers 118 square miles in Madison, Fayette and Pickaway counties. The Sterling Ambulatory District covers part of that same territory, as well as Range and Stokes townships in Madison County.

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