LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- It’s been nearly a year since West Metro Fire Rescue started using new automatic chest compression machines when arriving on scene of patients in cardiac arrest.
10 people have been saved since the fire department started using the device in March 2018, officials say.
Here's how it works: When first responders arrive to a scene, they start manual CPR. As soon as another set of hands arrives, they are able to set up the Lucas device, which create an automatic, consistent chest compression.
Officials say these devices are a key tool in taking over CPR because it allows first responders to aid other areas of the victim and increases the survival rate.
"When we’re doing manual CPR on a patient, we have to change that person over so they don’t get tired, so they are doing consistent compressions," said Pat Tailey with West Metro Fire Rescue. "This machine doesn’t wear out, it doesn’t get tired, doesn’t get sweaty it just keeps going as long as you want it to keep going."
"The fact that is frees up hands on any medical call is extremely important to us because there’s so many critical tasks that paramedics and firefighters have to complete when someone stops breathing and their heart stops," Tailey said.
Because of its success, West Metro has now placed a device on all of their ambulances.