BISBEE — Thanks to a $126,789 grant from the Ak-Chin Indian Community, the Sunsites-Pearce Fire District now has three new, state-of-the-art heart monitors.

The Cochise County Board of Supervisors, acting as the pass-through agency for special districts, accepted the grant during Tuesday’s meeting.

The new Tempus Pro monitors are lighter weight yet rugged and are used in the military and throughout Europe with great success, Fire Chief Joshua Steinberg said in an interview.

“They were highly regarded and had ample information about their use,” added Steinberg. “We’ll be able to provide better service for our rural coverage area of 1,600 square miles of around 7,000 people. We cover from the top of the Dragoon Mountains to the top of the Chiricahuas.”

As a member of mutual aid agreements with other fire districts and the county, he sees the new monitors as a plus when assisting in emergencies.

Supervisors Tom Borer, Ann English and Peggy Judd also approved an agreement between the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office and Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) for discovering gang–related activities of the sale and smuggling of drugs, human trafficking and other enforcement services.

According to CCSO documentation, the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) provides 75 percent of payroll-related expenses to one full–time detention officer assigned to “the DPS Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission (GIITEM).”

The officer collects intelligence and reports on “criminal street gangs, prison gangs, security threat groups, human smuggling, illegal immigration and other criminal activities by collecting information within the jail from the inmate population.”

The officer also performs detention duties.

The CCSO also received approval on an IGA with Sierra Vista to purchase and install upgraded equipment through a $617,000 Stonegarden grant on a communications tower owned by Sierra Vista on North Ave to improve communication services.

A state policy which shifts costs of counseling for traumatic events experienced by safety personnel to the county was also approved. The policy reflects the Arizona Legislature’s intent to have counties provide traumatic event counseling services for peace officers and public safety employees while setting parameters and procedures for receiving this type of treatment.

According to information provided, “A traumatic event while in the course of duty for public safety employees is defined as visually witnessing the death or maiming or visually witnessing the immediate aftermath of such a death or maiming of one or more human beings and dangerous crimes against children.”

Counseling for public safety employees can be provided by a licensed psychologist or a licensed behavioral health professional who is trained and has experience in treating trauma victims for 12 weeks.

If more sessions are needed and additional visits will likely improve the person, the county will pay for up to an additional 24 visits if the visits occur within one year from the first visit.

A public safety employee or peace officer is not required to take personal leave or sick leave to attend counseling appointment under the policy.

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