Sun Health Foundation Provides $35,000 in Matching Funds to Purchase Life-Saving Devices

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Matching funds allow North County Fire and Medical District to purchase four LUCAS Chest Compression systems that automate chest compression CPR for heart attack patients being transported by ambulance. This also helps keep firefighters and paramedics safe.

(L-R) North County Fire and Medical District paramedics Jeremiah Johnson, D. J. Martinez and Chad Dilts demonstrate a LUCAS Chest Compressor.

First, it provides more effective chest compressions for the patient, which can increase the chances for survivability. Secondly, it keeps our firefighters and paramedics safe.

Imagine you or a loved one is having a heart attack. The ambulance arrives to take you or them to the hospital. While en route, paramedics must focus on providing effective life-saving chest compressions while also staying safe in a moving vehicle.

That common scenario is now a thing of the past in the Sun City West area, as North County Fire and Medical District(NCFMD) recently purchased four LUCAS® Chest Compression Systems from Physio-Control. The purchase was made possible with a nearly $35,000 matching funds grant from Sun Health Foundation.

As of this month, NCFMD has three of the four LUCAS devices in operation in their frontline ambulances, following the training of department personnel. The fourth will be operational once Station 104 opens in the near future.

“The device has a two-fold importance,” said Rebecca Haro, health and medical coordinator for the district. “First, it provides more effective chest compressions for the patient, which can increase the chances for survivability. Secondly, it keeps our firefighters and paramedics safe.”

Using the LUCAS system, paramedics can remain seat belted during transport to the hospital. In the past, paramedics had to stand over a patient trying to perform adequate chest compressions, while hanging on to a rail for their safety.

North County did a field trial with the devices a couple of years ago, but lacked funding to purchase them at the time. “We are grateful for our partnership with Sun Health and Sun Health Foundation,” Haro said. “They were proactive in helping us get this needed equipment through a matching funds grant, because they recognized the potential of having this device for our community. We look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come.”

Jennifer Drago, Sun Health executive vice president for population health, said, “We are really excited about the opportunity to save more lives. We’re always looking for unmet community needs and this was certainly a piece of equipment that could actually improve care in the community. We are partnered with North County Fire and Medical District on other projects to improve service to the community and this just seemed like a natural fit to continue our collaboration.”

About Sun Health Foundation
For nearly 50 years, Sun Health Foundation donors have supported superior health care in the West Valley. The foundation is the philanthropic partner to the Banner Sun Health Research Institute, Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb medical centers, as well as community wellness programs and senior living services provided by Sun Health.

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John Tucker
Sun Health
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Ken Reinstein
Sun Health
since: 03/2011
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