It's one of the most demanding, underpaid and necessary job out there- being a first responder. Most people, myself included, will never understand the true intestinal fortitude it takes to be an EMT, paramedic, firefighter or police officer (or one of many other first responder positions). So when they receive anything that makes their job even the slightest bit easier, I think it's a big deal.

Recently, a Maine fire department received their very own LUCAS machine. What is a LUCAS machine? Well, the acronym stands for Lund University Cardiac Assist System, but in layman's terms, it is a machine that does CPR on it's own to free up the hands of the on-scene medics.

Why is this such a big deal? Why not just do manual CPR? Well, there are a couple of reasons actually. For one, CPR, when done right, can be extremely fatiguing for those working a cardiac arrest. Medics need to frequently switch off to maintain effective CPR. The second reason is that medics are no longer allowed to do CPR while the ambulance is travelling down the road. This means that the LUCAS machine is able to maintain chest compressions in transit.

So, which department just received the $20,000 piece of equipment? Old Town Fire Rescue. The machine, according to WABI, was funded partially by the city of Old Town and some grant funding.

Old Town Fire Captain, Adam Martell told WABI in part,

“Our shift alone has done CPR three times in the last month,” Martell said. “We were lucky enough to use Orono’s device at one of the last ones we had, because they came to help us, we were short-staffed. The device had a big impact. It frees up some other people to do some other skills that are much needed on cardiac arrest calls.”

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