VFD awarded $218,000 in grant funding

LUCAS is designed to deliver consistent, high-quality chest compressions.

The Ventura City Fire Department (VFD) was awarded $218,000 in grant funding to purchase 12 automatic chest compression devices through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).

The device, known as the Lund University Cardiac Arrest System (LUCAS), is designed to deliver consistent, high-quality chest compressions, even under difficult conditions, to provide life-saving support for extended periods of time.

“The Lucas chest compression system helps first responders do what they do best – save lives,” said Firefighter Paramedic Kyle Tong, lead trainer on the new devices. “As firefighters, we want to help cardiac arrest victims as quickly as possible because every second counts. With these new automated devices, we’re able to deliver consistent care, increase the chance of patient survival, and reduce injuries that can occur during transport.”

In July 2020, Ventura City Fire started using three LUCAS devices, which helped more than 32 cardiac arrest victims in less than four months. The unit is lightweight, comes in a backpack, and can be applied quickly to a patient, interrupting manual compressions for less than 10 seconds.

As a part of the federal grant, the City of Ventura is required to provide a 10 percent funding match in the amount of $22,000, which has been budgeted.

To learn more about the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program or the LUCAS machine, please contact Emily Graves, Community Outreach Specialist for the Ventura Fire Department, at [email protected].

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