We had quite a treat yesterday when the Sudbury paramedics stopped by our Board of Trustees meeting to demo their new equipment.
We saw first-hand the remarkable transformation emergency services in Sudbury have undergone since the implementation of the Advanced Life Support (ALS) program a few years ago. The program employs trained paramedics (rather than EMTs) who have the skills to stabilize patients on-site while therapy continues to be provided.
These medics go through rigorous training to be able to provide a level of service above that of a typical EMT. In addition to the advanced skills they learn, these providers develop critical thinking skills to help them better assess the problem and make the life and death decisions of what to do, what not to do… and when.
The Foundation has been pleased to support the Fire Department’s highly professional program, the best in the area, with two grants that funded state-of-the-art equipment.
In 2013, the department used our grant to purchase a Lucas Chest Compression Machine which provides automatic Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to patients. The unit is an electrically-powered piston device that performs accurately timed chest compressions at a precise depth. Humans cannot match the efficiency of the machine, especially when a patient is being carried through doorways, down stairs or over difficult terrain. While the machine is in operation, paramedics and EMTs can be doing other crucial activities. Fire Chief Bill Miles reports that the machine is used a couple of times a month and has literally saved lives since its purchase.
Last summer, grant funds helped purchase another valuable piece of equipment, the Advanced Life Support Training Manikin (pictured above). This is a 160-pound, life-sized model that enables Sudbury’s 12 paramedics to hone their skills by practicing techniques — like oral and nasal intubation and chest tube insertion — on a regular basis. Trainers use the model to simulate different combinations of potential medical events and can even re-enact previous cases so the medics can experiment with different approaches.
Most impressive to us were the enthusiastic paramedics themselves who are anxious to provide the best service possible to Sudbury citizens involved in a medical crisis. We are fortunate to have them.
Pictured left to right are Paramedics Michael Matros, Nick Horwath and Matt Macdonald.