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New fire dept tool already helping to save lives

The automatic chest compression system takes the guesswork out of CPR
From left, Prince Rupert Fire Rescue acting captain Derek Kormendy and firefighters John Laidlaw and Kasper Green demonstrate the Lucas automatic chest compression device for Trigon CEO Rob Booker on June 27. (Thom Barker/Black Press Media)

Firefighters in Prince Rupert have a new tool that could be a lifesaver.

Dubbed “Lucas,” the portable automatic chest compression system comes to the fire department courtesy of a $25,000 donation from Trigon Pacific Terminals.

Fire chief Jeff Beckwith said the unit, which comes in a backpack-style container for easy transport, provides the kind of consistent, accurate pressure required for successful cardio-pulmonary-resuscitation (CPR) that is extremely difficult for a person to imitate.

He also said it eliminates things like fatigue and ‘camping’ — the tendency to not fully release following each compression.

Acting captain Derek Kormendy, said they have already deployed the unit three times and it worked flawlessly.

“It’s a great thing to have in the toolbox,” he said.

The unit is lightweight and straps to a patient’s chest allowing for consistent application of compressions even when the patient is being loaded into the ambulance and during transportation, also increasing safety for first responders who are then free to travel seated and buckled in.

Trigon made the funds available out of its community investment fund.

“We’re pleased to have been able to make this important improvement in emergency response capability possible,” said Trigon CEO Rob Booker.

“It’s gratifying for all of us at Trigon to know that the equipment has proven highly effective in its initial applications, and that this will mean materially better health results for many people in Prince Rupert.”

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Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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