Beloit firefighters improve life-saving abilities due to Mercyhealth donation

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Photo provided (From left): Beloit Fire Department staff Storm LaDue and Ian Richardson accept the mechanical CPR equipment donation from a Mercyhealth grant.

ROCKFORD - The Beloit Fire Department is improving its life-saving capabilities thanks to a Mercyhealth donation of a mechanical CPR device.

The LUCAS Chest Compression System has been awarded to 30 regional emergency medical service agencies by the Mercyhealth Development Foundation.

The new mechanical CPR device is proven to help boost cardiac arrest survival rates and save lives, according to Jay MacNeal, Director of Mercyhealth's MD-1 Physicians.

"The benefits to both the patient and first responders is staggering," MacNeal said. "LUCAS is a labor-saving device with proven clinical improvements in our system. Performing high-quality CPR typically occupies several EMS providers, but the LUCAS device's automated compressions free these providers to perform other life critical skills. With these devices on board our agencies' ambulances, as well as high-fidelity simulation training and advanced protocols, we hope to improve our patients' cardiac arrest survival to over three-to-four times the national average."

According to medical trials done with the LUCAS device, the mechanical CPR equipment nearly doubled the amount of blood flow to the brain compared to manual CPR.

Beloit Fire Department Deputy Chief Joe Murray said the LUCAS device would be "very portable and easy to use."

"We want to thank the Mercyhealth Development Foundation for its generosity in providing us with another tool in saving lives," Murray said. "We are excited for what it will bring and how it will better equip us in successfully providing services back to our community."

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