Fire department employs CPR machine

The Lebanon Fire District recently received and deployed three new life-saving devices designed to replace manual compressions while doing CPR.

The mechanical devices, called “Lifeline Arm,” are made by DefibTech serve multiple benefits, with the number one benefit being consistent, high-quality compressions for far longer than a paramedic or firefighter may be able to provide. The machines don’t fatigue like humans can, and are guaranteed to be able to administer high-quality compressions for up to an hour. Maintaining blood flow and oxygen to the brain and other vital organs is crucial when dealing with cardiac arrest patients.

The LFD ambulance service area covers more than 400 square miles. Even with lights and sirens, some of their rural areas are still more than 20 minutes away from the nearest hospital. By having the Lifeline Arm perform the compressions, paramedics in the back of the medic unit can focus on other life-saving measures, such as airway management and medication administration without fear that compressions will become less effective over time.

Though the concept of mechanical CPR devices is not new, these models are computerized and much more compact than designs of the past. They can be quickly deployed and allow first-arriving responders to begin life-saving CPR without having to wait for additional manpower.

While the LFD team is excited to have these devices in their EMS arsenal, the machines do not completely replace the need for staff and volunteers to be trained and proficient in high-quality CPR compressions. All firefighters and paramedics will continue to practice and train on CPR and compressions in the event of mechanical failure, and for patients who are not compatible with the devices.

Lifeline Arm units have been placed in service on all three of the department’s first responding ambulances. Crews have completed hands on training with the devices and are ready to provide EMS care to citizens.

To see a video demonstration of the rapid deployment, visit the LFD YouTube channel at youtu.be/EIYCQSYbAxM.