North Metro Fire says new portable ventilator is saving lives

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NORTHGLENN, Colo. -- The North Metro Fire Rescue District says its latest piece of equipment, a portable transport ventilator, is saving lives and they hope other fire and EMS departments consider purchasing some.

"We're taking cutting-edge technology and putting it in the back of a medic unit," paramedic Mike Dawson of Northglenn said. "EMS is changing and we're getting better and better everyday."

Dawson says the portable ventilator is critical for patients who already rely on ventilators or who have breathing issues in an emergency.

"We can help that patient, move them to the back of that ambulance and still have them on the perfect settings with the perfect heat and temperature until they get to the hospital," Dawson said.

Prior to the portable ventilator, the department used bag valve MAKES to manually pump air for people who needed it.

"However, everyone squeezes different volumes," Dawson said. "What we're finding is that we're not always being consistent with ventilating these patients."

In the past six months, the department has used the portable ventilator about 20 times. Dawson says it costs approximately $7,000.

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