Westover Fire Department gets grant, equipment

Published 3:31 pm Friday, May 15, 2009

The Westover Fire Department will soon begin a community effort to have smoke alarms installed in as many homes as possible.

The department received a $1,000 grant from Wal-Mart on May 8, which Fire Chief Tim Honeycutt said would be used to purchase and install smoke detectors for free in older homes.

Honeycutt said he doesn’t know when the program will begin, as the department is in negotiations with several different smoke alarm manufacturers. However, he expects the department to begin installing smoke detectors no later than Aug. 1.

“We were going to try to bring this in later this year, but since these funds became available we’ll be able to do it much quicker,” he said.

Citizens can call the fire department to put their names on a list for the smoke detectors. The alarms will then be installed in the order of calls.

The fire department also received a welcome piece of equipment Thursday night from the Shelby County Fire and EMS — a cardiac monitor.

While the monitor is nine years old and slightly used, it is still an upgrade from the cardiac monitor the department had been using, Honeycutt said.

The new monitor has 12-lead EKG capability, which means the department can now check multiple areas of patients’ hearts at once.

“That is the absolute most important feature,” Honeycutt said. “If we have a problem, we can contact the hospital and they’re ready when we bring the patient in. It provides a much better patient care option.”