TANEY COUNTY, Mo. – First responders in Taney County hope new equipment can help cut down response times.

The grant money will go towards purchasing more automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, for the Central Taney County Fire Protection District.

Rebecca Murphy, a volunteer, applied for the grant.

She said, currently, the district only has three AEDs. 

Now, staff can purchase 15 more.

“All the studies have proven early defibrillation saves lives,” said Murphy. “The only way to do that is to get defibrillators in the hands of our first responders.”

For some who live in the district, Murphy said, the closest ambulance is 17 minutes away. 

First responders already in the area with an AED can make a big difference.

“Having our volunteers have this equipment at their disposal whenever the emergency comes in,” said Deputy Chief Brad Chaney. “They may be coming from work, they may be coming from in bed, from their homes. They may be out to dinner with their families when the calls come in. This puts that equipment hopefully in much closer proximity in relation to where the call is at.”

The purchase of the new equipment is all made possible through the Skaggs Foundation.

The foundation is accepting grant applications now through 5 p.m. April 28. To learn more about Skaggs Legacy Endowment or to apply, visit SkaggsFoundation.org.

To learn more about Central Taney County Fire Protection District or how to become a volunteer firefighter, visit centraltaneycountyfire.org/about-us/volunteer-with-us/.