Meet LUCAS: Iqaluit’s $21,000 life-saving machine

City’s fire chief hopes to acquire 2 more CPR devices by next year

Fire Chief Steve McGean, left, joins first responders Beay Sager and Casey Warren as they use the LUCAS CPR device on a practice dummy at the Iqaluit fire hall last week. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Iqaluit’s fire chief says the city’s new $21,000 CPR device is already saving lives in the community and he hopes to acquire more for emergency responders.

A closeup view of how the LUCAS device performs compressions. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

The city acquired its first Lund University Cardiopulmonary Assist System — LUCAS, for short — in March this year.

The LUCAS performs chest compressions that would otherwise be done by hand in traditional cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR, when trying to save someone whose heart has stopped beating.

This feature, according to Steve McGean, Iqaluit’s fire chief, helps his first responders in several ways.

“We’re seeing that it is aiding us by doing the CPR for us,” McGean said in an interview during a demonstration of the LUCAS.

Kitikmeot Community Futures Inc., Job Opportunity – Executive Director

“We can concentrate on moving the patient and getting to the hospital a lot sooner.”

Emergency responders have used the LUCAS six times so far.

The LUCAS CPR devices fits in a backpack and is stored in one of the city’s ambulances in the event of an emergency. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

It saved a life in May when emergency responders attended to someone having a heart attack. That patient was sent to Ottawa, where their condition stabilized.

All of the emergency responders in Iqaluit are able to use the LUCAS, and frequent training and practice is a regular part of the job.

McGean hopes his department can acquire two more LUCAS devices in the next year. That would ensure both of the city’s ambulances are equipped, and one could be kept in a fire truck for firefighters to use at the scene of an emergency.

Online survey on cannabis for University of Waterloo

He said his staff are appreciative of the device.

“These machines are the way of the future, and we’re moving into the future,” McGean said.

Share This Story

(0) Comments

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *