Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue and Mayor Walt Maddox revealed a line of new Advanced Life Support Equipment for the city's fire engines and ladder trucks at a joint press conference Monday afternoon.

Chief Randy Smith said TFR has worked closely with the city over the past year to acquire various grants to afford this new equipment and increase the department's ability to properly serve the citizens of Tuscaloosa.

"This is historic, and it's very exciting for the City of Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue," said Smith said. "There have been countless times throughout my career and other medics' careers where we showed up on a scene, and I thought 'If only we had some Advanced Life Saving equipment."

Demonstration of new LifePak Cardiac Monitor on Holly Wingham, Fire and Safety Educator with TFR (Noah Lueker, Townsquare Media)

Today, TFR placed Advanced Life Support (ALS) equipment, cardiac monitors and automated CPR devices on each of its basic life support trucks, which Smith said will greatly increase paramedics' ability to properly treat sudden cardiac arrest and other medical emergencies.

Funding came from three major grants - the city footed a $39,299 bill, but the equipment has a total value of $1.4 million.

The first grant came from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Funding, with $781,420 allocated for 20 LifePak 15 Cardiac Monitors and another $142,000 to equip two reserve Transport Rescue Trucks with the ALS equipment.

Firefighter/Paramedic Michael Hall demonstrating new LUCAS 3 Automated CPR Device (Noah Lueker, Townsquare Media)

$392,994 more came from the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant to purchase 20 LUCAS 3 Automated CPR devices and 25 ResQCPR manual devices. Another $50,000 was provided by a Community Development Block Grant.

"It gives me great comfort to know that if my child at the bottom of a swimming pool, or my father or mother has a stroke or a heart attack - if something catastrophic happens anywhere in our city, that the men and women of Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue are... going to be one of the most well-equipped Fire and Rescue departments in the nation," Maddox said. "They're going to give us the chance to survive."

Chief Smith said that Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue plans to begin implementing these devices by the second week of January, giving each firefighter and paramedic enough time to train.

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