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Life-saving investment

JACKSON – At their regular meeting on July 20, the Northampton County Commissioners viewed a demonstration of new EMS equipment which will help provide more life-saving services to residents of the county.

Northampton EMS member Casey Griggs showcased the “Lucas Device” to the commissioners, explaining the medical apparatus provides automatic CPR to a patient who needs it, particularly after cardiac arrest.

Casey Griggs, a member of Northampton Emergency Medical Services, shows why the Lucas Device is well worth its $15,000 price tag. Contributed Photo

In a typical situation, when first responders arrive to provide aid to someone with cardiac arrest, most of their effort is focused on doing chest compressions. Griggs explained they often have to use multiple responders taking turns to continue compressions because they can easily exert all their energy while providing the life-saving aid.

“The Lucas Device can take the place of 10 first responders,” Griggs stated.

Along with saving their energy, first responders are also free to continue to provide any other necessary first aid while the Lucas Device takes care of chest compressions.

Griggs noted another advantage of the automatic device was that it can be used during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as a way to reduce the odds of spreading the virus while providing aid. Along with helping maintain some distance between responders and the patient, the device can also be easily cleaned and disinfected after each use.

After the presentation, Commissioners Geneva Faulkner and Joyce Buffaloe said they were grateful for the opportunity to see the demonstration and glad it is available to provide aid to people when necessary.

Board Chair Charles Tyner asked about the cost and the number needed to adequately serve the entire county.

Griggs answered that one Lucas Device costs $15,000 and they needed three more. County Manager Charles Jackson chimed in to note that some of the EMS funding for this fiscal year is budgeted for purchasing more equipment like this.