Zeeland Fire Department saves life with new CPR device

Zeeland rescue device

ZEELAND, MICH. - It's an extra set of hands emergency responders never knew they needed, a mechanical CPR device. Only three fire departments in Ottawa County have the machine.

The Zeeland Fire Department purchased its very first LUCAS CPR device just a couple months ago and in its short time on the truck, its already managed to save a life.

"The very first patient we applied the device to went from pulse-less, not breathing, to being able to supply their own blood pressure and breathe on their own by the time we reached the hospital," Zeeland Fire Chief, Nick Bonstell, said.  

The LUCAS is a mechanic CPR device that does chest compressions for you.  EMT's place the patient on a backboard, they then connect the machine to the backboard. The EMT turns on the LUCAS, the device sizes up the patient and figures out what amount of pressure or force is being put on the patient. The first responder then hits another button and the compressions begin. 

In just a matter of seconds it gives first responders one less thing to worry about.

"It never gives up," Bonstell said. "45 minutes straight of 2-inch compressions at 100 compressions per minute constant." 

"We're focusing on the airways, still making sure we have positive airways, we're checking blood sugar to make sure its not a diabetic emergency, finding those underlying conditions that maybe we didn't have time previously to detect fully." 

Chief Bonstell tells WZZM 13 the LUCAS 3 is also translucent, so patients can get x-rays with the device still on them. 

The LUCAS cost roughly $15,000. The Zeeland Fire Department is already considering getting a second one.

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