Watch the HCAM News video with Hopkinton Fire Department Paramedic Tim Healy as he explains the benefits of the department's new CPR equipment.
In a time where a matter of a few seconds could mean the difference between saving a person's life or not, the Hopkinton Fire Department now has access to state-of-the-art equipment that will help paramedics administer care quicker and more effectively during cardiac emergencies. The LUCAS chest compression system, which is also being used in a handful of neighboring communities, allows for a machine to perform chest compressions on a victim during CPR, which increases circulation to the brain.
LUCAS was developed in Sweden in the early 2000s and first came to the US about eight years later. The inspiration for the device came from a seemingly unlikely source, a toilet plunger. To operate LUCAS, the emergency provider essentially needs to just setup up the machine and turn it on. Because the machine does the majority of the work, this frees up the paramedic to provide the patient with additional medical care. It also allows for the patient to receive care in places that performing CPR manually would be too difficult, as well as assures that the paramedic stays safe. With new equipment available to fire departments such as LUCAS, Hopkinton Fire Department Paramedic Tim Healy says that an ambulance is no longer simply a vehicle to transport patients to the hospital.
Currently the Fire Department has two machines, one for each ambulance. The machines, which cost around $15,000 each, were purchased a few months ago with money donated by community members in honor of former Hopkinton resident Marjorie Peloquin, who passed away in 2009. According to Healy, cardiac arrest is one of the leading killers of adults and is a emergency that the department often attends to.
Healy also believes that it is important for community members to be knowledgeable in case of an emergency. And therefore, the department offers a CPR training class on the last Tuesday of every month.