|New technology to assist Hoodland Fire posted on 03/01/2021|
The Hoodland Fire District (HFD) expected to have three
LUCAS chest compression system devices ready to use last month, reducing close
contact emergency responders will have with patients and improving the chances
patients who are in cardiac arrest will survive.
The three devices were made possible thanks to approximately
$41,000 in grant money from the CARES Act, last year’s economic stimulus in
response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s equipment that our fire district would never be able
to afford without the CARES funding,” said Brian Henrichs, the HFD Division
Chief who spearheaded the effort to get the devices. “It will hopefully last us
a really long time.”
Henrichs noted that each of the three district’s stations
will have one of the LUCAS devices, which offers responders the ability to
provide hands-free cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The devices, he added,
came out approximately ten years ago and can be found in numerous other fire
districts, including in Sandy and Gresham.
Responders may still initiate CPR, Henrichs said, performing
it hands-on for up to four minutes before a quick transition to get the device
in place and turned on. But he noted that the devices can be so successful that
it induces patients to regain consciousness, not something that is frequently
achieved with manual CPR.
Henrichs added that the district needed to wait on extra
batteries for the devices, which are necessary in the district due to the
travel time involved with taking patients to an interventional cardiac
catheterization lab, where a stent can be installed. That travel time from the
HFD can take up to 45 minutes, which is also approximately how long one battery
will last, and Henrichs noted it would be unfortunate to have to switch to
manual CPR part way through the journey.
Henrichs, who joined the district three years ago after
working for American Medical Response, added the training to get the district’s
responders up to speed on the new device was fairly easy, taking only 30
minutes. He also noted that anyone at the Emergency Medical Technician level or
higher in the district can use it.
“It’s one of the best life-saving devices,” Henrichs said.
“I don’t know why we haven’t had it for years.”
By Garth Guibord/MT