Rapid City fire fighters introduce new cardiac monitors to help the community


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. This week, Rapid City Firefighters are introducing new cardiac monitors to improve emergency services even more.

The devices may be in the classroom today, but soon these new cardiac monitors will be in Rapid City ambulances.

“It will be very beneficial to us and the community, the people we serve. We can take care of them, we can see clearer pictures with twelve-leads when they have cardiac issues, better vital signs,” Joshua Kusser, firefighter/paramedic, said.

The department’s old cardiac monitors were more than ten years old. EMS section chief Robert Rendon, says the new equipment is a significant improvement.

“For instance, a person is having a heart attack. We take a snap shot of what their heart is doing, that screen will display that in a static form. Next to that, a dynamic set of what their heart is doing as our treatments are occurring,” Rendon said.

Crews will be able to see if a patient’s heart is improving or not.

“The up-to-date equipment is important, one as time changes so do our treatments and our protocols. With that equipment changes. And then obviously it’s important for us to be able to spend the time to properly train so that we can use it when we need it,” Robert Rendon, EMS Section Chief, said.

The cardiac monitor training will be going on through Thursday this week so that each shift in the Rapid City Fire Department has the opportunity to learn how to use the new equipment.

“We’ll be doing a lot of training with this, just like everything in our job is continued education. So we’ll keep getting after it until we get these things down so it’s second nature,” Kusser said.

The Rapid City Fire Department purches 15 new cardiac monitors from the company, Zoll. It cost about $385,000.

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