HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese and Highland and HSHS Holy Family in Greenville recently donated two V-Watches to the Highland Pierron Fire Department.
A V-Watch is a personal voltage detector that signals the presence of electrical fields or energized electrical equipment.
“When we are called out to a scene, depending on the situation, there could be downed power lines that are not visible, especially at night,” said Todd Zobrist, captain of Highland Pierron Fire Volunteer Department. “After experiencing a close call with electrical lines, we decided to reach out for donations for V-Watches to increase the safety of our firefighters and first responders.” “We received immediate response, and we are grateful to now have these to alert us if there are live wires at a scene we are responding to.”
“When the fire department reached out regarding their need of V-Watches, we didn’t hesitate, said Amy Liefer, director of philanthropy and community engagement at St. Joseph’s Hospitals Breese and Highland and HSHS Holy Family Hospital Greenville. “The volunteer firefighters and first responders provide a great service to our communities, so we want to make sure they have equipment that will keep them safe.”
From the donation provided by the local HSHS hospitals combined with other donations received, the Highland Pierron Volunteer Fire Department now has four V-Watches, two at each station.
When members from the fire department arrive on scene, the V-Watches are worn around their neck by a lanyard. If the V-Watch senses high voltage within seven feet, it will flash a light and sound an alarm cautioning the wearer that voltage is present.
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese, HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland are part of the Southern Illinois Division of Hospital Sisters Health System, which also include HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon and HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham.
PHOTO: John Ludwig, president and CEO of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland (far left), and Janetta Feeny, director of emergency services for HSHS St. Joseph’s Highland and HSHS Holy Family Hospital Greenville (far right), presented the two V-Watches to volunteer fireman, Eric Zobrist (center).