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Harmon House has a heart for Mt. Pleasant Medic 10

| Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
A.J. Panian | The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Mt. Pleasant Medic 10 operations manager Mike Oplinger (left) holds one of three new Philips HeartStart MRx heart monitors/defibrillators/external pacemakers recently purchased by the borough's emergency response service. An $8,000 donation made by Harmon House Care Center aided the recent effort. With Oplinger (from left) are Rob Govern, Medic 10 director; Dennis Murphy, the center's administrator; and Patty Karbowsky, the center's director of sales and marketing.

Dennis Murphy has seen first-hand the dedication of officials of Mt. Pleasant Medic 10, a nonprofit division of the borough.

Through the years, employees of the emergency medical service, have been no stranger to Harmon House Care Center in the borough, where Murphy has long served as administrator.

“They've not only (aided) residents here, but they have helped the (Mt. Pleasant) volunteer fire department conduct evacuation drills here over time,” Murphy said.

A sense of gratitude recently prompted Murphy to offer final approval on a decision by center officials to respond to a recent request for help from Medic 10.

The agency, which has a paid staff 15 employees including state-certified allied health professionals, paramedics and emergency medical technicians, recently mailed letters to area businesses requesting donations for the purchase of three new Philips HeartStart MRx monitors/defibrillators/external pacemakers for its three ambulances.

“The price of these monitors was $25,000 total, or a little more than 8,000 dollars a piece,” said Mike Oplinger, the agency's manager of operations, who works in tandem with director Rob Govern and assistant director Al Dawson.

In response, Harmon House offered the agency $8,000, which enabled the purchase of one of the monitors.

“We've always had a good relationship with Medic 10, as well as other community organizations,” Murphy said.

“They've been good friends to us, and we wanted to return the favor.”

Other donations which have been placed on record to this point include $100 from CK Composites Inc., $100 from St. Pius X Church, $100 from Mt. Pleasant Church of God, and $50 from Mt. Pleasant VFW Post 3368, Oplinger said.

Payment for the other two monitors came out of the agency's capital equipment fund, he said.

“We actually just installed the monitors (last) Monday,” Oplinger said.

Previously, the agency was using LIFEPAK monitors/defibrillators, but they felt the need to upgrade, he said.

“The LIFEPAK models were about 5 years old, roughly. They still worked, but we were upgrading equipment, we always try to have the most state-of-the-art, best equipment available out there to serve our residents,” Oplinger said.

Govern agreed.

“I believe that the Phillips MRx monitors have become the new standard for cardiac care,” he said.

As for Harmon House, the donations comes on the heels of the completion of a 5-year contribution program in which the agency contributed $40,000 to the borough's volunteer fire department for the purchase of a new aerial truck, Murphy said.

Payroll and benefits for the Medic 10 staff are currently administered by West Penn Allegheny Health System, Oplinger said.

Allegheny General Hospital — the service's medical command facility — provides Medic 10 with free medical supplies, emergency medications, free oxygen and continuing educational opportunities, he said.

Speclin Inc. of Scottdale — Medic 10's third-party billing company — transmits billing for services rendered to agencies like Medicare or to insurance companies, Oplinger said. Speclin Inc. also collects Medic 10 annual service subscription fees and the company performs all maintenance of Medic 10 vehicles, he said.

Mt. Pleasant Medic 10 is conducting its 2014 subscription drive.

The fee costs $30 per Mt. Pleasant Borough residential household, and $35 per non-borough residential household located within the Medic 10 service area.

For more information, contact the agency at 724-547-4620.

A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or