Four LUCAS Life Saving devices are now in Kentwood

By: Barri Tiggle

A $115,000 grant may have given the Kentwood Fire Department an edge in saving a life.


lucas cpr
The LUCAS Chest Compression System

The Kentwood Fire Department recently received a big hand with the help of LUCAS.


The 2014 FEMA Assistance to Firefighter grant – which totaled $114,949 – was used to purchase four LUCAS chest compression devices. These devices are designed to allow CPR to be done without human help, outside the first initial 15 – 20 seconds it take to set up the device


“The LUCAS devices will be a great asset to the Kentwood Fire Department and the community,” said Kentwood Fire Department Deputy Chief Greg Ginebaugh. “Having the LUCAS CPR device allows more time for airways to be made on the patient, as well as starting IV’s and completing all other needs on the patient.”


The idea for the CPR assisted mechanical device derived back in 1991 by Norwegian paramedic Willy Vistung. Years later, the  first LUCAS was created and has since progressed throughout the years.


The LUCAS device is used during pre-hospital treatments, in-hospital treatments, and even percutaneous coronary intervention (also known as a PCI, a non-surgical procedure used to open narrow or blocked coronary arteries). LUCAS is equipped with 10 accessories that allow it to work to its full function.


It takes a maximum of 20 seconds to set up and adjust LUCAS correctly on a patient. LUCAS is intended to save time for first responders to help in other areas the patient may need, or lack assistance, during manual CPR.


Manual (human to human) CPR requires first responders to rotate performing CPR on the patient every two minutes. Since CPR can sometimes last up to 30 minutes, the availability of a LUCAS can save precious time for help in other areas.


As of right now the Kentwood Fire Department has four LUCAS devices. There are three fire stations with four primary vehicles and one LUCAS device is placed in each vehicle. There are currently no future plans to receive additional LUCAS devices.