First responders throughout Cherokee County to include Floyd-Cherokee Medical Center, Cherokee County Health and Rehab, each of the county’s 13 Fire Departments, Floyd EMS, and the Cherokee County Rescue Squad were issued a LUCAS 3 Chest Compression Device last week and completed training on these units this past Friday. The Cherokee County Commission approved to purchase these devices using funding from the CARES Act. A total of 20 units were purchased by the Commission at the request of EMA Director Shawn Rogers.
Rogers said “Throughout my 18 years in public safety I know how physically demanding it is on first responders and healthcare who administer chest compressions to a patient who has suffered cardiac arrest. One of the most important parts of administering CPR is the consistent delivery of high quality chest compressions. By delivering high quality chest compressions, it gives the patient a greater chance of survival. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve seen an increase of cardiac and respiratory related emergencies, primarily in the older population. We want to do everything we can to provide the best care possible to our citizens, so I felt the purchase of the LUCAS devices were vital in doing that. I presented the project to the Commission and they were onboard 100%. The Commissioners immediately recognized the benefit of placing these devices with our first responders throughout our community”.
Floyd EMS received two of the devices to finish outfitting the remaining two ambulances that weren’t already equipped with one. Floyd-Cherokee Medical Center ER received their device on Thursday and EMS Captain Andy Fairel provided them with the training that allowed the ER staff to immediately place the device into service.
In Cherokee County, when 911 receives a call reporting a patient with breathing problems, chest pains, stroke, or any potential life threatening illness or injury, the fire department’s first responders are dispatched along with an ambulance. The fire department’s first responders are medically trained to provide basic life support until an ambulance arrives on-scene. Oftentimes the fire department’s first responders arrive on-scene anywhere from 5-15 minutes prior to the ambulance due to the fire departments being out in the communities they serve. Director Rogers says “The fire department’s first responders are a vital part of our EMS system in Cherokee County.
With the Cherokee County Health and Rehabilitation Center being one of the largest nursing home facilities in the state we felt it was very important to make sure they were issued a device as well. Director Rogers said, “Cherokee County Health and Rehab primarily consists of an older and elderly population and many of them have pre-existing conditions. Having a LUCAS device at the nursing home allows staff to be able to start providing high quality CPR in the event someone experiences cardiac arrest prior to EMS arriving at the facility.
The Cherokee County Rescue Squad primarily responds to emergency situations on Weiss Lake and at Cherokee Rock Village along with providing victim extrication to those who find themselves trapped inside a vehicle following a vehicle accident and missing persons. With the Rescue squad being equipped with a LUCAS device, it allows them to be able to take it with them whether they’re repelling down the side of lookout mountain at Cherokee Rock Village or they’re out on the lake due to someone having a medical emergency.
Director Rogers says “we hope we never have to use these devices but the reality is, we will. I hope this gives the citizens a piece of mind knowing that when emergency services arrive on-scene, we are equipped with some of the best tools there is to increase their chances of survival and we continuously look for ways to improve our services.
To see a video of the LUCAS 3 Chest Compression Device in-use click on the link below: