KENNEWICK, Wash. — On a drizzly afternoon, Kennewick Firefighter EMT’s are ready for whatever the day brings them.
But in their mean time, they’re practicing.
“We’re training every opportunity that we have to be the best we can be,” KFD Medical Officer Scott McLellan said.
On Wednesday, crews practiced with a new, hands-free CPR machine.
“Very innovative, helpful device,” McLellan said.
After researching and weighing their options, McLellan said they landed on the LUCAS device. KFD is preparing to implement two of them before Christmas.
“The way that it helps us is it actually performs the chest compression. It will take a crew member away from having to do that task kind of just calms the whole scene down it performs a very consistent compression,” he explained.
McLellan said it’ll also keep crews safe as the ambulance rushes to the hospital during an emergency.
“And it also gives a lot more flexibility as far as moving our cardiac arrest patients because it can perform the compressions while we’re moving the victim,” he said.
McLellan explained KFD responded to at least 100 cardiac arrest calls every year. That number increases region-wide. McLellan said cardiac health and survival rates have come to the forefront of regional fire and EMS focus.
“You know we’re deploying AED’s in Richland, we’re deploying mechanical CPR devices here in Kennewick and we just want to give our citizens the best opportunity for survivor if they do go into cardiac arrest,” he said.
Crews at station five went through a cardiac arrest scenario to practice with LUCAS; perfecting switching from hands-on CPR to the device flawlessly.
“Every minute their chance of survival drops 10 percent, so we need to get there quick and we need to perform very very good compressions so we can reperfuse their body and we are their heart until it restarts on its own so we need to get there quick and we need to be really good at it.”
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