North Coast ambulance service to get new equipment to help those having heart attacks

The North Coast’s public ambulance service soon will have some new equipment designed to help patients who are having heart attacks.

The new equipment going to the Cambria Community Healthcare District includes two new electrocardiogram monitors, costing about $35,000 each.

They’re designed to analyze a patient’s condition in detail and then communicate that information directly to the French Hospital Medical Center cardiac team in San Luis Obispo.

A $75,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters grant program will pay for the devices.

District ambulances serve an area stretching from north of Cayucos to the Monterey County line and inland to the ridge of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The district also covers the south end of Big Sur in Monterey County on a contract basis. The entire area is far from any hospital emergency room.

Don Melendy, the district’s administrator, said, “with our extended transport times to the hospital,” some 35 miles away from Cambria, “we’ll have the ability, early on, to make the diagnosis and get the French Hospital cath-lab team in place and ready for us to be part of the activation of that team and get that patient taken care of more quickly is tremendous.”