Conn. fire department receives LUCAS machine
The new tool allows paramedics to administer lifesaving treatments while CPR continues
By Mark Zaretsky
New Haven Register
WEST HAVEN — The City of West Haven Fire Department — Allingtown has a new tool to help save people’s lives in an emergency: a $13,400 portable automatic chest compression system that can keep someone’s heart pumping all the way to the hospital, Chief Peter Massaro said.
Allingtown paramedics Chris Shore and Paul Martus and EMT Mike DiMassa demonstrated the new Lucas 2 tool, which fits in a padded backpack, Wednesday at the Minor Park Firehouse on Fairfax Street.
“We put it in the budget and the taxpayers of Allingtown paid for it,” Massaro said, calling the Lucas 2 — an acronym that stands for Lund University Cardiopulmonary Assist System — both a lifesaver and a timesaver for firefighters.
The machine has been in use since last Thursday, when training by the manufacturer, Physio-Control Inc. of Redmond, Washington, was completed, said Massaro.
West Haven’s Center District fire department, the West Haven Fire Department, also has a unit, as do a number of other area fire departments, he said.
While being able to use the machine to do the most important component of CPR frees up a paramedic’s hands to do other important things, such as administer potentially life-saving medication, its real value is as a life-saver, firefighters said.
Put simply, “the machine doesn’t get tired,” and “it’s consistent and never stops — all the way to the hospital,” said Capt. Stephen Grodzicki.
It’s also a lot safer because “it always was difficult to do chest compressions while still wearing a seatbelt,” Grodzicki said.
The self-adjusting machine can be be used on anyone over 80 pounds, from 8-year-old kids to 80-year-olds, firefighters said.
Shore, Martus and DiMassa demonstrated how the Lucas 2 works at a small gathering attended by Massaro, Deputy Chief Michael Esposito and state Rep. Louis P. Esposito Jr., D-West Haven, who also is a former chairman of the Allingtown Board of Fire Commissioners.
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