Local man donates life-saving equipment to fire department
In the event a person suffers a witnessed sudden cardiac arrest, early quality care can mean the difference between life and death. Bob Berard, local businessman and philanthropist, recently suffered from a medical emergency which required the use of a specialized CPR machine which he said saved his life.
As a result, Berard was so impressed by the quality of care he received, he donated a LUCAS 3.0 Chest Compression System to the Stevens Point Fire Department at a cost of $15,727.
“This is a donation to the Stevens Point Fire Department from an individual whose life was saved by (the Lucas Device), and he was so touched by it that he reached out to Bob and Joe and said, ‘I’d like to buy this,’” said Gary Wescott, Stevens Point Police and Fire Commission president.
The Lucas Device provides a consistent rate and depth of compressions, while allowing for chest recoil. With manual compression, it is recommended paramedics switch persons performing chest compressions every two minutes, due to fatigue, which will then lead to inadequate compressions.
The benefit of the Lucas Device is that it frees up a person from doing compressions to provide other care, along with ensuring that quality compressions are being performed at the proper rate and depth. It also allows the chest to recoil, which lets blood back into the heart.
When the Lucas Device is applied, EMS teams can move the patient without having to stop compressions, which is imperative. The fewer the interruptions, the greater the chance it is to achieve Return of Spontaneous Circulation (R.O.S.C.) in the patient.
“We have been trying as a city to get one of these … for several years,” Wescott said. “They are clearly state-of-the-art.”
Assistant Fire Chief Joe Gemza said the department is working to obtain a grant to purchase another six units to be able to have them on board each ambulance unit.
“I can’t stress enough … how long this community, the Stevens Point fire service, has been aggressively trying to secure one of these. This is a very interesting piece of life-saving equipment, and we are very grateful for the donation,” Wescott said.