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DeKalb paramedics eye third CPR machine

DeKALB – Three people have been resuscitated using a chest compression machine since DeKalb paramedics received the technology in May.

The Lucas 2 system can push a patient’s chest down by two inches 100 times a minute, according to a DeKalb Fire Department news release. That rate is better than what a paramedic could do well, and the machine allows paramedics to provide other medical treatment when a patient’s heart stops beating.

“We are probably one of the first ones in the area to have it,” Fire Chief Eric Hicks said.

DeKalb’s fire department has ordered a second machine thanks to a $13,654 grant from the DeKalb County Community Foundation and hopes to get a third soon, so the machines can be placed in each of the department’s front-line ambulances, Hicks said.

“That way we’d know, every time an ambulance goes out the door, one of these will be out there,” Hick said.

DeKalb Fire personnel use CPR on patients about 100 times a year, and the need is almost evenly distributed between their three service areas, Hicks said. The shift commander has carried the chest compression machine in his vehicle and driven it around town as needed.

“The downside of that is when the shift commander is on another call, he could not respond to the need for one,” Hicks said.

The second machine has been ordered and should arrive within a couple of weeks, Hicks said. Two of the three front-line ambulances will then have CPR machines, and department leaders will continue the push for a third.

“We’ll try to keep budgeting for it,” Hicks said. “We’ll try to keep seeking grants from other sources.”

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