Murray Joint Fire District adds 2 mechanical CPR devices

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 August 2022 at 2:22 pm

Lifeline ARM gives steady compressions without tiring out

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Murray Joint Fire District last week put two new Lifeline ARMs into service. The devices do CPR compressions. Pictured from left include Harris Reed, Murray fire chief; Erin Reed, EMS lieutenant; and Hunter Salamaca, EMS lieutenant.

MURRAY – The Murray Joint Fire District has a new addition that will not tire out when doing CPR.

The fire district last week put two Lifeline ARMs into service. The chest compression devices are produced by Defibtech. They do 30 compressions, and then two breaths of oxygen are added with a BGM – Bag, Valve, Mask ventilation device.

Firefighters and EMS personnel very seldom do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation these days, said Harris Reed, Murray fire chief.

But they have physically been doing the CPR compressions, sometimes for 20 minutes to an hour, when an ambulance crew can take over. That amount of time can be tiring for volunteers who are trying to do about 100 compressions a minute.

“Our department is getting older and there are not too many younger volunteers coming in,” Reed said. “This provides a quality CPR on every response. The machine also frees up hands to do something else.”

The Lifeline ARM has a simplified control panel where two steps are needed to initiate mechanical CPR. Operators should adjust the compression piston height, and then choose to “Run Continuous” or “Run with Breaths.” The latter allows programmed pauses for rescue breaths.

The Murray Joint Fire District is the second department in Orleans County to acquire an automated CPR device. Shelby also has one from a different manufacturer, Reed said.

Murray has two – one for each rescue vehicle. They cost $17,000, which was at a discounted price. They typically sell for about $14,000 each.

Reed and Murray fire officials saw the devices in May when they went to a fire expo in Harrisburg, Pa. Reed saw the devices as way to continue to provide quality CPR services to the community during a time of declining volunteerism.

Murray last year responded to about 450 EMS calls, and already is at 400 this year, Reed said.

“We needed something to help us and help the community,” he said.

Murray Fire Chief Harris Reed holds a BGM – Bag, Valve, Mask ventilation device. That provides two breaths of oxygen after 30 CPR compressions.