Volume LVAugust 2008Number 3

The Right Route to Save Lives

Cumberland Goodwill Fire Rescue EMS chief, John Heberlig, shows how the station uses the GPS units.

In our fast-paced world, technological needs arise in every occupation. Once, a good collection of maps provided the directions firefighters and other emergency response teams needed to save lives. Now, paper maps can't keep up with the times.

The Cumberland Goodwill Fire Rescue EMS in Carlisle knew they had to buy expensive global positioning systems (GPS) to continue saving lives, so they turned to the Cumberland Star Lodge No. 197, Carlisle, for help.

The brothers of Cumberland Star Lodge understood the importance of the GPS units. "The problem with this area is that it's expanding so much with its territory that [emergency response teams] can't keep up," Bro. Robert Umbaugh, W.M., said. The traditional run books, a set of maps the department previously used, are only updated every six months. The GPS units ensure that emergency response teams find the fastest route to new homes on recently built roads and poorly marked houses.

With the $990 the lodge donated, the department purchased six GPS units. The minutes or even seconds shaved off the emergency response time because of the systems are vital. "Depending on what the situation is, it could be life or death," Brian Metzger, deputy EMS chief, said.

In May, several members of the lodge were able to see their generosity at work when they attended a demonstration about the systems. "There are almost always two people riding in the vehicles," Bro. Umbaugh explained. "While the driver concentrates on the road, the passenger operates the GPS."

The Cumberland Goodwill Fire Rescue EMS and Cumberland Star Lodge have a history of over a decade and a half. "Our first AEDs (Auto External Defibrillators) were purchased by the Cumberland Star Lodge," Metzger said.

"Their donation is much appreciated. We appreciate their support in the past and hope to have their continued support in the future," Metzger said.

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