Tucked inside DXE Medical’s warehouse, Biomedical Manager Dave Strang troubleshoots a Physio-Control LIFEPAK 15 Defibrillator while typing out an email response to a customer. For Strang, answering questions about life-saving equipment is just one of many tasks he juggles behind the double doors of this white-walled workshop, DXE Medical Inc. in Brentwood, Tennessee.
Whether he’s assisting customers over the phone or via email, training technicians, ordering parts or troubleshooting equipment, Strang has become a jack-of-all-trades in the three years he’s worked at DXE Medical.
“I wear a lot of different hats,” Strang explains after hitting the “send” button and swiveling his chair around to talk more about his role at DXE Medical.
Were you a tinkerer as a kid?
I was always kind of a tinkerer as a kid. And then, in my early 20s, when I first moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado I was a bicycle mechanic. I like to work with my hands, but I like to think at the same time.
What type of units does DXE Medical, Inc. repair?
DXE repairs all types of medical devices. We specialize in the EMS field — specifically, monitor/defibrillators, infusion pumps, respirators and vital signs monitors.
Can a unit be too old for you to fix? Why?
No, as long as we can find parts or a repair solution, we will repair devices of any age. Of course, we will advise the customer.
Why wouldn’t you want to send it back to the manufacturer?
We are our own repair depot here. There are certain things that the manufacturer won’t sell us — like software in our devices. There are a few manufacturers that we do end up sending stuff off to, but we like to be able to manage everything that we can here first. And only in those situations — where it’s outside of our scope because we don’t have the test equipment, calibration equipment, software or it’s something that requires specific training that we don’t have — that’s when we’ll try to source those things out. But everything else we try to handle as much as we can here in-house.
Who does DXE serve with its repair services?
DXE serves all EMS/Fire companies, health care clinics as well as general public access. We also provide additional support to other service providers.
Is a recertified unit just as reliable as a new unit? Why?
Yes, I believe recertified units are just as reliable as new units. Many of the components in these units have life cycles in the hundreds of thousands, when the actual use can sometimes be in the hundreds, leaving years of life left in them. Also, after the recertification process any worn or damage parts are replaced with new items as well. They are also rigorously tested for performance and function.
When is a piece of equipment beyond repair?
With the AEDs, if they have a malfunction sometimes to replace the part to fix it, is going to cost more than replacing the AED itself — that’s when we’ll say, ‘hey, you need to end up replacing your unit.’ Because, at the same time, we need to make sure we strive to save the customer as much money as they possibly can, because a lot of the devices we see come from small or rural [places] or even volunteer fire or EMS departments. So, they don’t have big budgets to spend on repairs and that type of stuff. So we try to make sure we do everything as cost effective for them as we can.
What is your favorite part about working in the biomed?
It’s a combination of things. I have always been technically oriented so I enjoy that part of it. There is quite a bit of problem solving when troubleshooting repair issues, I like that challenge too, but also knowing that the work we do can have an end result of helping save lives.