Nathan Bower

Forsyth fire chief Nathan Bower displays the department’s new defibrillator acquired through a grant applied for by the Taney County Ambulance District and administered through the Skaggs Legacy Foundation.

FORSYTH — The Forsyth Fire Department now is better equipped to respond to medical emergencies, thanks to an A.E.D. grant from the Skaggs Legacy Foundation.

Fire chief Nathan Bower explained that A.E.D. stands for Automated External Defibrillator, while displaying a newly acquired defibrillator for Mayor Eddie Coleman and the Board of Aldermen during a recent Board of Aldermen meeting.

“With this device, we will we be able to shock when the heart is in fibrillation,” Bower said.

He said the cost of the defibrillator is $1,400.

Bower told city officials the department now has three defibrillators. Two are kept on fire engines.

“We will have one at both stations and one in our staff car,” Bower said.

According to Bower, the Taney County Ambulance District applied for a grant through the Skaggs Legacy Foundation.

According to Branson Tri-Lakes News archives, the Taney County Ambulance District public access defibrillation program was awarded $18,168 in October through the Skaggs Legacy Foundation.

“It’s a great program,” Bower said.

According to Bower, the goal of the fire department is to get a defibrillator in spots where the life-saving device may make a difference in the event of an emergency. Some areas are drawing more events and more people.

“At Shoals Bend, there’s increased activity,” Bower said.

Having an additional unit increases the department’s coverage area and decreases response time. Bower views the defibrillator as an investment in the community.

“If someone’s trained in it, and it saves someone’s life, it’s well worth it,” Bower said.

Ladder and engine tests

Bower also reviewed a bid for ladder and engine yearly maintenance and inspections.

Two bids were received. One came from CFS Inspections, out of Searcy, Arkansas. The other was from Fire Master in Springfield.

Bower recommended Fire Master, at a cost of $725 per unit.

“No. 1, they are a lot closer. They have less costs to get here,” Bower said. “We used them last year; they did a good job.”

The Board of Aldermen voted to approve the Fire Master bid for maintenance and comp tests of two fire engines.

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