New devices help Covington Fire Department respond to cardiac arrests

Covington Fire Department gets mechanical chest compression devices

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Covington Fire Department just got several new devices they say will help when responding to someone who is in cardiac arrest.

Called LUCAS devices, they provide CPR-equivalent aid to a patient.

The device, Covington firefighters say, has already proven useful.

CFD Lt. Gary Rucker says for about the last year and a half the department has been working to try and improve cardiac arrest survival rates. A Cardiac Arrest Care Committee was formed to assist with doing that, and the LUCAS devices are one result of it.

Rucker says they’ve already used one of them to a save a life and they say they hope to save even more in the future.

CFD now has six of them, five of them in use, one of them a backup.

“It helps us not get tired when we are doing CPR,” Rucker said. “Usually we try and switch out guys who are doing CPR every two minutes, but with this we don’t have to stop. We don’t have to have any pauses.”

Rucker also says having these devices potentially helps reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19, because for cardiac arrests, Rucker says they typically have between six and eight people working on a patient at one time.

By having the LUCAS devices, they only need two or three.

Between the cost of the devices and maintenance to keep them going, with federal CARES Act money, the city expects to pay about $113,000.

“They are rather expensive, but when it comes to a subject’s life, you can’t really put a price on it, so this is going to be great,” Rucker said. “We are very excited to get them.”

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