Emergency medical technology, tested on the battlefields of Afghanistan, will be in the hands of Cincinnati Fire Department paramedics this summer thanks to a $100,000 gift from Western & Southern Financial Group.

Cincinnati is the first city in the United States to have the Tempus Pro, a new, lightweight vital signs monitoring device with extensive two-way communications capabilities to save time and improve care at the scene of accidents or other medical emergencies.

“It really brings the emergency physician to the scene. It is great,” says Fire Lt. David Bahler, an emergency medical field supervisor trained in the use of the Tempus Pro.

Developed by Remote Diagnostic Technologies Ltd. in the United Kingdom, the monitor has video and Bluetooth capability, as well as global positioning, Wi-Fi and ethernet connectivity to allow ER doctors to see what paramedics see at the scene. A big differentiator from other monitoring equipment is its real-time capability.

If the doctor sees something that needs attention on the victim, he can circle it with an electronic pen on his video monitor and the paramedic at the scene can see it.

The Tempus Pro weights only about six pounds, around a third of what the fire department’s current monitoring equipment weighs. That’s important, Lt. Bahler says, when paramedics are carrying oxygen tanks and other assorted medical gear to an accident scene.

The device is a platform that can be upgraded in the field as new technologies emerge. RDT, founded in 1997, developed the device for use in remote locations where medical care isn’t readily available. It was introduced to British Special Forces and adopted by the U.S. military.

Western & Southern’s gift was made possible by the Cincinnati Fire Foundation, which has raised about $218,000 for the Cincinnati Fire Department since 2008.

Barry Evans, president of Evans Financial Group and foundation president, says the idea for the gift grew out of a conversation he had last November with Dr. Jay Johannigman, chief of trauma and critical care at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, who he was recruiting for the foundation’s board.

Dr. Johannigman, a colonel in the Air Force Reserve, served as a medical officer in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and Evans, an Air Force veteran, talked about their military experience.

Dr. Johannigman mentioned he had been impressed with the Tempus Pro’s capabilities during his latest tour in Afghanistan and he put the foundation in touch with Graham Murphy, RDT’s CEO, who came to Cincinnati to demonstrate the technology. Charles Powers, a foundation board member, took the idea to John Barrett, Western & Southern’s CEO.

“When I saw this technology a few months ago, I was blown away by it. This is another example of why Cincinnati is the best place in the world to live,” Barrett told a press conference in April.

Western & Southern’s gift will allow one of the Tempus Pro devices to be housed in fire stations in each of the city’s four fire districts. RDT is donating software to allow area hospitals to connect with the Tempus Pro. Evans says he’d like to see more of the units put into the hands of other local fire department paramedics, if donations can be found.