By Staff Reports
(Victorville)– The City of Victorville announced that its Fire Department has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the CARESTAR Foundation to fund the purchase of a life-saving mechanical chest compression device known as the LUCAS.
The LUCAS mechanical chest compression device improves patient outcomes for adults suffering from a medical cardiac arrest while reducing strain and risk to the caregiver. Both portable and quick to apply, the device works by providing high-quality chest compressions at a rate and depth that are critical to maintaining blood flow to the patient’s brain, heart, and other vital organs. As the mechanical device provides chest compressions, first responder hands are free allowing them to perform other life-saving interventions.
The LUCAS is effective in situations where manual compressions are hard to achieve due to transportation or space constraints; and unlike human caregivers, the LUCAS can provide effective chest compressions during prolonged resuscitation attempts without getting tired. The LUCAS provides an added safety benefit to first responders enabling them to sit belted during emergency medical transport.
“Victorville is safer thanks to this life-saving and injury-reducing device,” said Victorville Mayor, Debra Jones. “We are grateful to the CARESTAR Foundation for this grant that is enabling our Victorville Fire Department to provide the highest level of emergency medical service to our residents and broader community.”
The Victorville Fire Department tested three LUCAS devices as part of a trial program in April 2021. In just two weeks of service, the devices were used on six adult cardiac arrest patients. Four of these patients were transported to the emergency department having gained pulses and a blood pressure.
“Adding these devices to our equipment inventory has fulfilled a critical need in our department,” said Victorville Fire Chief, Jeff Armstrong. “When in use, the LUCAS essentially acts like another person on our rescue squad and allows our personnel to have their hands free to focus on additional life-saving measures that may arise on their call for service.”
“We are thrilled to award this grant to the Victorville Fire Department and bring this life-saving tool to the local community,” said Tanir Ami, CEO of the CARESTAR Foundation. “It not only allows for first responders to be more efficient in providing emergency and prehospital care, but the technology also brings an additional layer of safety to those that need to administer chest compressions to patients during COVID-19. Definitely a timely and much needed innovation.”
As part of its broader effort to provide enhanced emergency medical services, the City plans to purchase seven additional LUCAS devices to outfit Victorville Fire rescue apparatus. The additional devices were approved by the Victorville City Council in the recently adopted budget for Fiscal Year 2021/2022, including one device that will be funded with revenue generated by Measure P. Once the devices are placed into service, the Victorville Fire Department will be the first fire agency in the region equipped with a LUCAS device on every responding apparatus.
Through its grantmaking, the CARESTAR Foundation works to improve health outcomes for all Californians, using a racial equity lens to fund and advocate for improvements in emergency and prehospital care. The Foundation supports innovative programs, projects, and organizations that will build knowledge, strengthen partnerships and programs, and advance critical policies towards a more equitable, unified, and compassionate emergency response system. Visit carestarfoundation.org for more information.
The history of the Victorville Fire Department dates back to 1926 when the Victorville County Fire Protection District was established. In 1930, the Victorville Volunteer Fire Department was created. In 1976, approximately 14 years after Victorville was incorporated, control of the Victorville Fire Protection District was assumed by the City of Victorville. In March 2019, the City of Victorville re-established its Fire Department after contracting fire services for 10 years.
Located in Southern California at the high point between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Victorville is the leading city for both industry and retail in the High Desert region. Victorville is a growing, vibrant community that is home to approximately 135,000 residents and some of the area’s largest employers. Clean air, abundant mountain vistas, family-friendly recreational activities, spectacular sunsets, and breathtaking night skies entice locals and visitors alike to fall in love with this city that is within a few hours of SoCal beaches, National Parks, mountain retreats, and other major attractions; and Ontario International Airport is less than an hour away.