By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – The City Council approved the purchase of two new defibrillators with monitors, and two new chest compression systems for the Fire Department at the June 9 online city council meeting.
The Lifepak 15V4 monitors and defibrillators and the Lucas 3 V3.1 chest compression systems will cost $104,843, are being funded through the city’s public safety capital outlay account, and will be purchased through the Wayne County bulk buy program.
The purchase includes maintenance programs, software and related accessories, Fire Chief Doug LaFond said, adding that the Lifepaks will replace 10-year-old equipment, and the compression systems are new technology which improve a time-tested lifesaving technique.
LaFond said firefighters and paramedics tested the compression devices for three months last fall, and were pleased by the ease of the device’s use and its performance.
“The devices have many advantages, including consistent compression depth and rhythm, the freeing up of personnel to complete other tasks during a cardiac arrest, reduced fatigue, increased accountability and more accurate record keeping,” LaFond said in a June 3 memo.
He said the lifesaving supportive resuscitative technology are Bluetooth enabled, can interface with other devices, and let firefighters and paramedics perform efficient and superior cardio pulmonary resuscitation in cases of cardiac arrest.
The Lifepak devices are $33,528 each, and the Lucas devices are $18,893 each, when purchased through the bulk buy program.
The devices are in heavy demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and lessen first responder exposure to contagious patients.
LaFond said during the June 9 meeting that firetrucks currently have 15-year-old equipment, and the ambulances have 10-year-old equipment. He said the 10-year-old Lifepaks will move to the fire trucks, and the ambulances will get the new equipment.
He said the EKG and other medical information can be sent directly to cardiologists with either the Beaumont or Henry Ford health systems.
“The cardiologist can be on the golf cart with his smart phone, and we can send him the EKG of a heart attack victim, and actually head to the hospital and meet us there, and go directly to the cath lab,” LaFond said. “It is pretty cool stuff.”
He said they are able to bypass the emergency room when they send the data directly to the doctors, and get the patient into the cath lab sooner for a lifesaving heart procedure because the units have state-of-the-art technology.
LaFond said the chest compression equipment also frees personnel from what is an exhausting task.
“Right now, the Department of Defense, the American Heart Association and the CDC are all recommending EMS entities use these devices to get the medics away from the patient while doing compressions, because obviously that’s something we do that creates aerosolization, through the respiratory system,” LaFond said. “With the COVID-19 virus going around, the further we can get from that sort of a situation, the better, so they are actually recommending that these devices be used on all CPRs right now.”