Alcoa Police get new thermal imaging cameras with ambulance fines | News

The Alcoa Police Department received 11 new thermal imaging cameras last week thanks to the Blount County government’s ambulance contract with American Medical Response.

The Alcoa Police Department is one of 10 Blount County agencies receiving new emergency medical equipment, which the Blount County government is purchasing with fines collected from American Medical Response, the ambulance service the county has a contract with to respond to emergency calls.

On Monday, the Blount County government provided 11 hand-held thermal imaging cameras to the Alcoa Police Department.

Alcoa Police Chief David Carswell said the devices can be used to help search for missing people.

“We plan on using the Seek thermal devices for those occasions where we have to look for a lost child or a dementia patient who has wandered off and time is critical,” Carswell said in a news release. “These devices will give our officers the ability to see in zero to low light conditions what the human eye cannot.”

Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell said the county’s contract with AMR has allowed critical equipment to be purchased at no cost to the taxpayers.

“The safety of our citizens is and always has been important to me and providing our first responders with the most up-to-date and advanced equipment is a priority,” Mitchell said in the release.

The Blount County Fire Department was the first agency to benefit. The department received six AEDs (automated external defibrillators) on Sept. 8.

Blount County General Services Director Don Stallions said the equipment is being purchased with fines centered around ambulance run times, a majority coming when AMR goes over a 15-minute run time goal.

“It’s a pretty strict contract and there are fines associated if they don’t meet certain requirements of the contract,” Stallions…

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