Grant Gives New, Life-Saving Equipment to Metro Fire Ambulances

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY -- Sacramento Metro Ambulances are getting brand new life-saving equipment, after being approved for a Federal Grant.

Charla Hardesty remembers when an ambulance came to her Fair Oaks home this past March. The 79-year-old was recovering from hip surgery, when all of a sudden, she fainted. She had a severe blood clot, and her heart stopped beating.

"I had no pulse so they started doing compressions," Hardesty said.

Paramedics from Sacramento Metro Fire went to work, along with a new contraption -- The Lucas Device.

"It essentially does chest compressions, non-stop, without interruption, doesn't get tired or fatigued like a human would, and it has better quality of compression," EMS Captain Jonpaul Seivane of Metro Fire said.

The ambulance that came to Hardesty's home carried one of only three Lucas devices in Sacramento County.

"I was one of the first one they used it on. A first for me," Hardesty said.

The CPR device can be used on patients pretty much anywhere. It doesn’t matter whether they are on the floor, a staircase or on a rolling gurney.

The department knew that these devices were extremely helpful and had the potential to save thousands of lives. The only problem was, that each device costs $15,000. That is when their Grants division stepped in.

"They spent hundreds of hours with our EMS division to put together a grant proposal. Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, approved that grant and we received a $405,000 grant," Captain Michelle Eidam of Metro Fire said.

Thanks to that money, the department got 30 more Lucas Devices Monday morning.
One will now go into in every Sac Metro Fire ambulance, including the rescue helicopter.

"I think people can rest assure that they're going to get the best care," Hardesty said.

It's a pricey gift the department and Hardesty are not taking for granted.

"She's living life just like she was before she went into cardiac arrest. Part of that she got great compressions from this device. It's priceless," Eidam said.

"Well, I could be buried in Fair Oaks cemetery, and here I am today... I get to enjoy my family," Hardesty said, while tearing up.

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