SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — New CPR equipment Shawnee Township Fire Department received last month might have helped save Daren Moore’s life.
Moore, 43, of Shawnee Township, suffered a heart attack Feb. 24 at Dollar General. Shawnee Township paramedics were able to stabilize him with the Lucas 2, an automated CPR device that can deliver up to 100 chest compressions per minute.
Shawnee Township firefighter and paramedic Joe Lafferty said the machine gives paramedics more flexibility in an emergency situation, and is vital to helping someone regain their circulation.
“When you’re moving a patient, CPR is less than ideal,” Lafferty said. “This device allows us to be very effective at all times.”
He demonstrated the device at the Shawnee Township Fire Department on Monday using a mannequin. The battery-operated device adjusts to the person’s size, and then delivers constant compressions for as long as needed. The machine is stored in a backpack and weighs around 40 pounds, and it can be powered with a lithium ion battery or a power cord. The device can be fitted on almost any body type, from a 5-year-old to a 250-pound man.
“For the last 40 or 50 years, we always thought it was oxidation and ventilation that was saving people,” Lafferty said. But recently, it came to light that CPR is even more important to saving someone’s life, since continuing circulation helps with things like effectiveness of medications.
The fire department has used the Lucas 2 device three times in the last 90 days, deciding to get the device after a six-month trial. They now have two machines, one for each ambulance. Dr. Praveen Malhotra bought and donated one of the devices, and the other was donated by Lima Husky Refinery. The machines cost $12,400 each.
While it’s not a cheap purchase, Lafferty said saving lives doesn’t come at a price.
“They’re not very budget-friendly items, but their effectiveness is great,” he said.
Shawnee Township Paramedics Matt Reaman and Dustin Hunsaker at the scene to help set up the machine on Moore, who was unconscious at the time.
“It’s not just the device,” Lafferty said. “It’s the care and the procedure that makes all the difference.”
And for Moore, it’s something he can probably be thankful about for the rest of his life.
“I’m glad they were there,” Moore said.