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Monongahela Valley Hospital reaches out to first responders

| Saturday, May 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
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Monongahela Valley Hospital emergency department medical director Dr. Brenda Walther and emergency department director Kelly Macheska open the first aid kits with Carroll Township Police Chief Paul Brand and Monongahela Police Chief Brian Tempest. MVH donated two kits to each department to provide their officers with emergency first aid supplies.

He would have been happy with a few bandages and gauze, but Monongahela Police Chief Brian Tempest was thrilled by the comprehensive first responder kit donated to the department by Monongahela Valley Hospital.

The hospital donated two kits each to the Monongahela and Carroll Township police departments within the past few weeks, helping to outfit police cars with emergency first aid supplies.

“Almost everything that you could think of in an emergency is in there. All the way from bee sting (treatments) to stethoscopes,” Tempest said. “I was hoping for a paper bag with some Band-Aids and some gauze. ... And I got this. This is first-rate.”

The large bags are stocked with a CPR mask, instant glucose, bandages, cold packs, a stethoscope, distilled water, a blood pressure cuff, Ace bandages, gloves and a flashlight to examine eyes. The hospital said in a news release that it will replenish the first aid supplies as needed.

Carl Crawley Jr., a member of the hospital's board of trustees and board of directors, set the donation into motion after hearing about the police's need for equipment.

Crawley said he pitched the idea to hospital officials, who were receptive.

“The face of the hospital's about helping people,” Crawley said. “We're all about trying to help the people in the community. The police are the first on the scene. There's things they should have.”

First responders need “the best supply kits possible with the best tools,” emergency department Director Kelly Macheska said in a hospital news release.

“We do value our police and if there is something we can do to help them, we want to do it,” she said in the release. “Plus it ultimately helps our community.”

Carroll Township Police already have loaded the kits into their police cruisers, though they haven't needed to use them yet, township police chief Paul Brand said. Mon Valley Hospital is in Carroll Township.

“Really, it's a full first aid kit with things like gauze, blood pressure cuffs, really above and beyond what we would normally have as a basic first aid kit,” Brand said. “Everything we would need in an emergency.”

The bags, he said, even include blankets that can be used in cold weather.

“We had kits (before), but I think that they were getting a little bit worn and in need of replenished supplies,” Brand said. “We're very happy. We like to say the hospital and the police department kind of partner together.”

In February, the hospital donated two portable computers for police cruisers to Carroll Township Police.

“The bags were fantastic,” Tempest said. “The hospital's been very good to the local police departments.”

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or rskena@tribweb.com.

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