Portsmouth Fire Rescue says $600,000 worth of new equipment is helping save lives

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth Fire Rescue and Emergency Services put their new technology to work this week. 

It came at a perfect time, according to Chief Jim Hoffler. 

“We recognized our equipment out there was vastly approaching its due date and need to be removed from service,” Hoffler said.

The city council approved the purchase.

Portsmouth crews received 32 AED’s, 11 heart monitors and 7 Lucas devices, which are CPR machines.

It’s a piece of technology that’s proven to keep people alive.

“Since introducing the Lucas devices, we’ve seen almost a 40 percent increase in return of a pulse,” said EMS Manager Jeff Meyer.

Crews say the CPR machine frees up rescuers to work on other immediate needs of the patient.

It also keeps them from tiring out.

“A human’s going to get tired after two minutes and we have to change out providers every two minutes,” said Meyer.

These devices were placed on every ambulance, where before they were only on supervisors’ vehicles.

Another important tool, heart machines that can check heart rates and even do an EKG that gets sent directly to the patient’s cardiologist.

The chief says he already knew he had the best team, but says now he has the best equipment to go along with them.

The chief says all of the new equipment cost around $600,000.

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