Firefighters from the Jackson Fire Department are now using the latest life-saving technology when they go out on rescues. The department recently acquired two new machines called “LUCAS 3”. The product from Stryker is affixed to patients in need to CPR and autonomously performs chest compressions.
The digital device senses the weight and size of patients and adjusts compressions accordingly. The device also has built-in breaks that allow for first responders to perform rescue breaths. The Jackson Fire Department began officially using LUCAS 3 devices last month, after testing them for several months. The department is working with two devices so there is one for each main fire engine.
JFD says when they encounter a patient who needs CPR, one rescuer manually starts giving CPR, while another rescuer sets up the device. Firefighters say LUCAS 3 can be set up very quickly, and the gap in patient care is only a few seconds. Firefighter Annie Wallen says they’re amazed that this type of technology exists. “It’s like having an extra pair of hands. A big part of it is getting it on and getting the machine going with chest compressions. We can then free up another person to start doing a variety of other important tasks, such as starting a manual airway, going out to the truck to get a backboard, or go debrief the ambulance on what kind of situation we’ve got going on and what kind of equipment they need to bring,” Firefighter Wallen said. Some patients require up to 30 minutes of CPR, and that can be exhausting on first responders. These devices offer relief to responders, and can continue to be used on patients when they’re in an ambulance and taken into the Emergency Room.
The LUCAS 3 devices have already been used several times in the Jackson community. Firefighter Wallen says she’s seen it save lives. “It is an unfortunate circumstance when we do have to use it, but we’re very thankful to have it. It’s been a big help” Firefighter Wallen said.
Funding for the CPR devices was built into the budget for Tower 8, JFD’s new $1.1 million ladder truck which was acquired late last year.