Jackson County Emergency Services is now the first emergency medical service in the state of Georgia with an automated CPR device on each of its ambulances.
At the end of a June 23 training class where personnel had hands-on training with the chest compression system, the units were deployed on the ambulances for potentially life-saving use.
According to Jackson County EMS Division Director Michael Gosnell, the unit will provide 45 minutes of standardized chest compressions. Conversely, a human providing CPR may begin to lose their form and strength within a minute.
The outcome for heart attack patients could be greatly improved by the introduction of the devices, which will also enhance safety for paramedics and EMTs who perform CPR inside moving ambulances.
The automatic CPR device is designed to be strapped around the patient without the requirement of a backboard. The patient’s hands can be secured onto the unit so IVs can be used, and the patient can be moved while chest compressions are ongoing.
The CPR devices were purchased by Jackson County through a federal grant sought out by Chris Hensley, paramedic and emergency services administrator.
Gosnell said Hensley came up with the concept for the units, and Gosnell already was familiar with grant writing from serving as a part-time instructor at Lanier Tech.
Emergency Services Director Steve Nichols presented the grant request to the Jackson County Board of Commissioners with unanimous approval.
State Rep. Tommy Benton’s efforts also are credited with securing the $100,000 Aid to Firefighter Grant used to purchase the six units.
Jackson County’s 20 percent match for the grant has paid for a seventh LUCAS unit as well as the day of training that included presentations by the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Cath Lab.
Gosnell said he is pleased his home county is a leader in enhancing patient care through innovations obtained through grants secured by the department.
Prior to Jackson County deploying its new units, there were 37 in Georgia with five being in Thomas County. Gosnell said three other departments in Region 10 have the automatic CPR devices including Clarke County, National EMS serving Oconee and Madison County.