The Cardinal Joint Fire District put a new piece of lifesaving equipment to use this week. Squads from Station One on Lisbon Street and Station Two on Messerly Road are now equipped with the Lucas 2 chest compression system.
"This frees up one of our paramedics to provide other lifesaving care," said CJFD EMS Director Rob Tieche.
The new device looks like it came out of a futuristic movie. It consists of a plastic backboard that is placed under a patient. An upper canopy attaches to the backboard and is centered over the patient's chest. When the device is turned on, it automatically provides chest compressions at the proper depth and rate to keep blood flowing.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Cardinal Joint Fire District EMS Director Rob Tieche demonstrates the Lucas 2, a new chest compression device that frees up paramedics in emergency situations.
"That's something no human can do," Tieche said.
The Lucas 2, made by Physio Control, was part of the equipment budget for 2012. The CJFD is the first fire department in Mahoning County to obtain the new state-of-the-art devices and put them into use. On Monday, all the paramedic/EMTs at the CJFD received training on its use and as of Tuesday, were ready to place it into action.
"It only takes 20 seconds to get operational," Tieche said.
When it does start chest compressions, it can sense the proper depth and timing as it functions. Tieche said in cases where there are multiple victims, it frees up emergency responders to help others or even hook up an I.V.
The device is battery operated and once hooked up, will follow the patient to the hospital.
"The emergency room physician will be the one to take it off," Tieche said.
Tieche said the device will enhance life-saving efforts and will become a vital tool for the district.
"This goes along with our mission of having the best service and best equipment possible," Tieche said.