The Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) recently received a $205,000 grant from the County of Los Angeles Quality and Productivity Commission to purchase 10 mechanical CPR devices for rescue boats in its fleet.
The Working to Enhance Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation Effectiveness (WE CARE) project will focus on delivering high-quality CPR to patients on a moving vessel, such as a rescue boat. The mechanical CPR devices will assist patients by providing continuous chest compressions while boats are in motion which can challenge a first responder’s ability to maintain high-quality CPR when faced with limited space or inclement weather.
“This latest grant will help the Department deliver high-quality CPR in the marine environment and on Catalina Island where we are very resource limited. While most people view cardiac arrest resuscitation as an attempt to raise the dead, we have learned that, for many of these patients, there is a brief but real window of survivability,” said Dr. Clayton Kazan, LACoFD Medical Director. “If we can provide fast, high-quality aggressive care, many of these patients can be saved and returned to their families and communities neurologically intact. There is no greater win for our EMS mission.”
In addition to the WE CARE grant, the Department will also receive $10,000 to fund a one-year pilot program of a highly secure tele-medicine application for an Advanced Provider Response Unit (APRU). An APRU consisting of an advanced provider (AP), such as a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant, and a firefighter paramedic responds to low acuity 9-1-1 calls and performs assessments that do not require immediate transport to a hospital.
“The application will test the feasibility of real-time, video consultation between field units and the AP — and between the AP and the medical director. This will allow units on scene to consult the AP to determine the appropriateness of a response, and it will allow the medical director to supervise the care delivered by the APRU without having to be physically present,” added Dr. Kazan. “If successful, this model would be highly scalable across the Department for a variety of consultative needs.”
The EMS Bureau appreciates the support of its projects from the Quality and Productivity Commission. “As the needs of our communities are ever-changing, it is critical for the Department to continue innovating in order to provide better service and to be a beacon for other departments to follow. The Productivity Investment Fund has allowed us the resources to do that,” said Dr. Kazan.