Colfax (WQOW) - During a medical emergency, we all know how important it is to get the patient to the hospital as quickly as possible.
It is critical, which is why an area EMS department is tapping into technology.
"You strap the person down, and the person's body weight actually secures this board in place."
The machine in front of Steven Boos is an automated CPR machine. It is one of several similar devices being used by EMS teams in Osseo, Roberts, and Colfax.
"Before, it was just us. We had the two personnel, one would be doing compressions, one was doing ventilation's. You can't stop doing that, and you had to find somebody to drive, so you're stuck on scene," said Boos, an EMT in Colfax.
The automated CPR machine delivers compressions and ventilations in a more consistent pattern than humans, and also frees up first responders.
"Now you deploy this, have the compressions going, have the ventilations going, while one person jumps in the back and one person goes in front. Instead of waiting for more advanced levels of care to come to you, now you can go to them," Boos said.
"As long as you've got air in your tanks, you can use it. And even if your air runs out, it's still got about a 30 second span in it's cylinder that will keep doing compressions," said Boos.
They cost around $10,000-$14,000. Colfax held fundraisers to pay for theirs, and though a big help, the machines cannot be used on everyone.
"This is your marker. If this line is above up here, which it's not, but if it was showing above here, the patient would be too small," said Boos.
While this machine is very important, EMS crews say it's designed to help them get patients to the hospital faster. The initial CPR on scene still trumps the device.
"This isn't going to save the person's life, it's going to be the first person on scene, which is the person calling 911. If they can initiate the CPR, they have a higher chance of living," Boos said.
With this new device, a two-member EMS crew can still get on the road. The device can perform CPR while one crewmember drives and the other can administer care. They need certification from the state and then must spend a day learning to use the device before working with it in the field.
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