Carter budget group suggests buying defibrillators

John Thompson • Oct 15, 2013 at 9:19 AM

ELIZABETHTON — Although the Budget Committee of the Carter County Commission is watching the county’s reserves closely in this tight budget year, the committee saw the value of purchasing two automatic defibrillators for placement in the principal county buildings.

Jo Ann Blankenship, chairwoman of the Health and Welfare Committee, discussed the devices with the committee and said they would cost about $2,000 each, including the wall mountings. She said they were designed to be self-explanatory to someone who had no training with the device.

Committee member Charlie Bayless said the cost would be worth it, if it meant the saving a life.

Committee member Thomas “Yogi” Bowers suggested Emergency Management Agency Director Andrew Worley be asked to investigate whether there are any grants the county might be able to use to purchase defibrillators. Last year, the county provided Worley with software to make computer searches for grants.

County schools have received several large grants, which the Budget Committee recognized in a series of budget amendments by the School System.

They schools received $488,000 in new funding from two sources. These included $425,000 from state technology funds, which will be used to purchase equipment and supplies, and a $63,000 grant from the Niswonger Foundation for Cloudland High School, which will also be used to purchase equipment.

The committee also recognized a $468,000 federal First to the Top grant and a $100,000 Title I Focus School Grant for Valley Forge Elementary School.

Also, the Sheriff’s Department asked to transfer $17,000 it received from the Securis inmate calling program to purchase law-enforcement equipment.

The sheriff’s department also received funds from two federal sources. The U.S. Forestry Service paid the department $8,317 for patrolling the Cherokee National Forest sites along Watauga Lake. The department also received nearly $6,000 from the U.S. Justice Department for protective vests.

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