TMFPD's New CPR Machine - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

TMFPD's New CPR Machine

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When they receive a call, firefighters with the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District must be ready for anything. At the Arrowcreek Fire Station on Arrowcreek Parkway and Thomas Creek Road, the crew say many of their calls have nothing to do with saving homes, but instead saving lives. "I think there's always going to be some adrenaline running through your system going to calls - especially when it's a life or death situation,” shares Captain Chris Black.

When a three-person crew arrives on scene, they have to act fast; if CPR is needed, they are all involved. "Their heart can be in a rhythm that needs to be shocked, there are IV's to be started, medications that needs to be given. And we need to also breathe for that patient." Not to mention the hard and fast compressions, explains Black, "Hard and fast; at least 100 compressions a minute."

Now, however, they have help. TMFPD has three LUCAS 2 devices. "The plunger is placed on the patient and we can turn it on,” Black demonstrates as the machine begins chest compressions. Manually, firefighters take turns performing compressions to ensure efficacy. With the machine, there's no need to stop. "A normal person can only do CPR for two minutes at a time. What this does now is continues CPR no matter what we're doing on the scene. Whether we're moving the patient to the gurney or into an ambulance or hospital, it is continual chest compressions."

Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung gifted TMFPD the first $15,000 machine with his discretionary funds. TMFPD has since added two more and the technology has already been used once - with success – to the delight of Captain Jamie Rivera. He says the LUCAS 2 is a helpful tool when time is of the essence. “The scene could be kind of hectic, so we try to concentrate on the job and the victim and do the best job we can."

Having the lifesaving machine on board, echoes both Captains, frees up more hands to help. "We have the best hopes in mind that at the end of that call, hopefully we will be able to get that heart started again."

TMFPD is currently writing a grant to get the LUCAS 2 machines on all 11 fire engines.

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