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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Riverside Health gave this fire department devices that could save more lives

NEWPORT NEWS — Riverside Health System gave the Newport News Fire Department a huge assist by gifting life saving equipment.

Riverside gave the fire department three LUCAS chest compression devices, which are portable devices that make administering CPR easier, according to a news release from the City of Newport News.

“It was a perfect opportunity to donate to a community department,” said Mary Haigh, assistant nurse manager at Riverside Regional Medical Center. “(The Newport News Fire Department) is very excited about the LUCAS device. It was something they were looking into getting for the department.”

Haigh said the medical center had a few extra devices, which were valued at more than $50,000, and wanted to donate them to the fire department.

The equipment has a lifespan of eight to 10 years, Haigh said.

The Newport News Fire Department employs 371 firefighters and civilian personnel who staff 11 fire stations and support facilities.

Responding crews typically handle in excess of 27,000 emergency and non-emergency responses annually, many of which involve administering CPR, according to the release.

The device will alleviate manual labor for rescuers and allows them to complete 100 chest compressions per minute. According to the news release, research shows that approximately 60 percent of rescuers experience back discomfort when providing manual CPR.

Riverside Health System gifted the Newport News Fire Department lifesaving CPR equipment. (Photo courtesy of Riverside Health System.)

“Effective CPR is hard work, and it’s hands-on,” said Robert E. Lee, assistant chief of Emergency Medical Services for the Newport News Fire Department. “We are very grateful for Riverside’s donation of the LUCAS devices, which will enable our EMT staff to do their jobs safer and more effectively and ultimately saving more lives.”

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