LOVES PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — With a full time staff and enhanced equipment, the Loves Park Fire Department adds an extra layer of quality care to the community. But one device it employs not only benefits patients, but its first responders as well.
“Slowly, the Lucas Device is becoming a standard of care,” said Chief of EMS, James Hart. “It’s increased survival rates during CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation.”
The Lucas Device fits over the patient’s chest and head, holding their arms in position while giving high quality chest compression.
“Before, doing CPR in a moving ambulance (was) just inherently dangerous, right?” Hart says. “Now I’m able to sit down. I can have my seat belt on. It’s doing chest compression while I’m delivering medication, and I don’t have to be standing up, doing chest compression anymore. I’m a lot safer because of this machine.”
Just recently, the department went from an all-volunteer department that didn’t respond to EMS calls, to a full-staff, paid department.
The ambulance service went into service in March, and with that change, they needed to upgrade their equipment.
“The whole department is excited. Our call volume is increased, just by doing this – running medical calls now. And, having [a Lucas Device] just makes us that much better.”
The department was awarded two of the machines through a grant from the Mercyhealth Development Foundation.
“Since we’ve had it in possession, we have not used it yet. We’ve used (Mercyhealth’s device) several times and we’ve had really good outcomes because of it, so now we’re just happy to have our own,” Hart said.
Hart says he plans to add more equipment to the department to make the firefighters more efficient at their jobs.