Fort Mohave Mesa fire department seeking two federal grants

Jan 17, 2018

Jennifer Schmidt pins a badge on her husband, firefighter/paramedic Robert Schmidt of the Fort Mojave Mesa Fire Department, at Wednesday’s governing board meeting. Robert Schmidt has completed a one-year probationary period

FORT MOHAVE — Fort Mojave Mesa fire crews will soon be better communicating with their nearby counterparts.

The fire district’s governing board voted Wednesday to approve the purchase of a new radio for a battalion chief’s vehicle.

The dual-band radio, Fire Chief Bret Scholz said, will allow the FMMFD to receive frequencies used by the Clark County and San Bernardino County fire departments.

The vendor is Las Vegas-based McIntosh Communications.

Scholz said the $6,499 item was placed on the agenda because it exceeds $5,000, the amount sent in the board’s policies as the threshold for authorization.

He said the item was already in the budget.

Scholz said the FMMFD is seeking two federal Assistance to Firefighters Grants. One, he said, would cover new self contained breathing apparatus units and spare bottles. The department’s current units need to be replaced by next year, he said.

The FMMFD was unsuccessful in applying for a grant to cover SCBAs last year. Scholz said that if it doesn’t get the grant this time around, the department will have to pay for new units through its budget.

His preliminary estimate is that replacing the department’s 25 SCBAs and 27 spare bottles will cost at least $250,000.

The other grant being sought would pay for power gurneys and an automatic loading system, EMS coordinator Raymond Proa said.

Proa told board members that the FMMFD is completing training in its heads-up CPR initiative. He said that the department will use special equipment to keep the heads of cardiac patients elevated to a 30-degree angle, which improves their chances for brain health.

FMMFD paramedics are using a machine that performs compression CPR.

Proa said that heads-up CPR will not just get patients resuscitated, but also have them “walking out neurologically intact.”

He said that the FMMFD is the first fire department in Arizona to use heads-up CPR and is one of about 10 in the U.S.

Board members also voted to write off $1,780.28 in delinquent ambulance accounts and send another $25,578.59 to collections.

Matt Branson, president of the Fort Mojave Professional Firefighters Association, said that last month’s Toys for Tots and Shop with a First Responder events were successes and that Proa was named the department’s Firefighter of the Year.