New CPR tool ‘doesn’t get tired’

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Andrea Quigley of the Stryker Corporation trains Covington firefighters in the use of the LUCAS 3 mechanical compression device.

Purchase helps Fire Dept. improve response to cardiac arrests 

COVINGTON, Ky. - When it comes to giving CPR, the Covington Fire Department is going mechanical.
 
As part of its continuous efforts to improve the survival rates of people suffering health emergencies, the Department recently bought six LUCAS 3 mechanical chest compression devices to deploy in its ambulances effective immediately. Firefighters got trained on the devices this week.
 
Assistant Fire Chief David Geiger said the beauty of the LUCAS 3 is its consistency.
 
"Simply put, the machine doesn't get tired, so it compresses the chest at the same rate and with the same force, time after time after time," Geiger said.
 
It's also safer for EMTs and paramedics, he said. Personnel called to do chest compressions in the back of an ambulance in route to a hospital no longer have to do so standing and unrestrained in a speeding vehicle.
 
The City expects to pay the cost of the equipment and maintenance -- $113,670 - with federal CARES Act money distributed through the Kentucky Department for Local Government.
 
The new equipment was just one outgrowth of the EMS Division's Cardiac Arrest Care Committee, created 18 months ago and charged with improving the response to cardiac emergencies and increasing survival rates.
 
Initial changes in December 2019 included the transitioning to a "Pit Crew" model with predesignated tasks - much like individual members of a NASCAR or Indy Car pit crew are assigned to changing tires or refueling - to increase efficiency and speed during calls requiring CPR.
 
"Our whole goal with the committee and its recommendations is not only to save lives but to save them in a way that enables people to leave the hospital able to lead a normal or near-normal life," Geiger said.
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