PHILIPPI -- Each year, Barbour County Emergency Squad members hit the streets and knock on doors looking for some much-needed financial aid.
Usually, that money goes into a general new-ambulance fund, said squad director Robert Jones. But when emergency crews start canvassing the county next week, all money collected will help buy a very important piece of life-saving equipment.
Squad officials want to buy a Lifepack cardiac monitor/automatic external defibrillator, which not only monitors a patient's heart rhythm, but can shock a heart that has stopped beating or beats irregularly.
"The community's always been good to support us when we do our canvass," Jones said. "This year, I just wanted people to know that it's going toward a very important piece of equipment. This is something that can definitely make a difference, and in my opinion is the most important piece of equipment on an ambulance."
The squad has four defibrillators and heart monitors, Jones said, but the Lifepack contains both pieces in one unit and also has a more advanced monitor. He said the goal is to buy a new Lifepack this year, then eventually upgrade one of the other monitors and replace the other two. The current monitors are three-lead EKG machines, he said, which provide just a small view of the heart. The Lifepack is a hospital-quality, 12-lead EKG that can give paramedics a much better idea of the patient's condition, Jones said.
"It will be much more advanced than what we have now," he said. "Anything life-threatening can be seen. This will be the same as getting an EKG in the hospital emergency room."
EMS members will be going door-to-door throughout Barbour County starting next Monday, Jones said. The canvass will begin at 5:30 p.m. each day and will end a dark. All squad members working the canvass will be wearing either squad uniforms or T-shirts, Jones said.
For more information, contact Jones at 457- 2037.
Schedule for the emergency squad's door-to-door canvass:
Monday -- City of Philippi
Aug. 1 -- City of Philippi
Aug. 2 -- Route 76, including Galloway and Brownton
Aug. 3 -- Union road, Mount Liberty and Midway Road
Aug. 4 -- Route 250 south from Team One to Midway Road, including Silent Grove, Anglin Run, Sand Run and Hanging Rock
Aug. 7 -- Wellington Heights, Hickory Corner and Route 57 to the Harrison County line
Aug. 8 -- Route 119 south from Route 57 intersection to the Upshur County line, including Century I and II
Aug. 9 -- Volga, Boulder and Hall
Aug. 10 -- Route 119 north from the Alderson-Broaddus College baseball field to the Taylor County line, including Hacker's and Pleasant Creek
Aug. 11 -- Route 38 to Nestorville, including Laurel Creek, Bootjack and Tacy
Aug. 14 -- Nestorville to Tucker County line including Kasson Road, Teter Creek Road and Valley Furnace
Aug. 15 -- Route 92 from White Oak to Moatsville Road, including Moatsville
Aug. 16 -- Route 92 from Moatsville Road to the Preston County line, including all roads branching off
Aug. 17 -- Arden and Clemtown
Aug. 18 -- Chestnut Ridge, Olive Hill, Ford Run and Frost Run Road, including make up for all areas not visited.
Regional writer James Fisher can be reached at 626-1446.