Brooklyn Park Fire Dept. Gets Technology to Help Save Lives
Brooklyn Park firefighters now have extra hands to help with medical emergencies. The fire department recently invested in technology to help people experiencing cardiac arrests.
According to the American Heart Association, 475,000 people die from cardiac arrests each year. Jovan Palmeiri, Brooklyn Park’s deputy fire chief of professional standards, said about 70% of their calls are medical-related.
“In Brooklyn Park, we had a little over 8,000 calls this past year. Six-thousand or more were medical calls,” said Palmeiri.
Palmeiri explains that cardiac arrests happen when the system that causes the heart to contract fails. Should cardiac arrest happen, first responders would typically perform CPR. But, Palmeiri said there’s issue with manual compression.
“The compression depth isn’t always perfect,” said Palmeiri. “After doing compression for awhile, people can get tired and the quality of CPR may decrease a little.”
To improve lifesaving measures, the department bought two types of technology. One is called LUCAS (Lund University Cardiopulmonary Assist System), an automated CPR device. It allows medical personnel to perform hands-free, consistent and uninterrupted CPR while attending to the patient’s other needs.
The other technology is EleGARD, which is a patient-positioning device for people with cardiac arrest. It elevates the head and chest, improving circulation into the brain. Elevation during a cardiac arrest is crucial as it can make a difference on patient outcomes.
“Studies have shown that if a persons just laying flat (during CPR), what happens is almost a concussion effect in the brain.”
The new technology went into service last month and has already helped save some lives.
- Click here to view a documentary on the BPFD’s new technology.