BARNESVILLE, Minn. — In the past, when volunteers with the Barnesville Ambulance needed a special device to aid in performing CPR, they sometimes had to rely on other emergency responders.
"We have had instances where we have to have the local police come down, grab it, and bring it to us," explained Scott Nelson, manager for the service.
The more than two dozen EMS crew members were sharing one LUCAS 3 CPR device between two ambulances, so one more was desperately needed. The device produces the chest compression part of CPR, freeing first responders from an often energy-intensive task.
Barnesville Ambulance covers 442 square miles in Clay and Wilkin counties, and when seconds count, having a LUCAS on-hand to perform chest compressions could mean a friend or neighbor surviving. Nelson says the device helps first responders save energy and keep a more consistent rhythm while performing compressions.
"If a person is doing it, you get fatigued," he explained. "It wears on you really fast."
After hearing the Barnesville Ambulance needed another device, local foundations and nonprofits pooled donations to help buy another one of the life-saving tools for the squad. The Barnesville Lions Club, FM Area Foundation and the Barnesville Community Fund teamed up to raise $15,000 for the device.
"This was a no brainer, it is rural Clay County and we are saving lives," said Lexi Oestreich, Program Officer for the FM Area Foundation. "This is a tool they will use this year and next year and going forward and the impact will be tenfold."
The FM Area Foundation hopes other rural EMS Squads in the area will submit requests for similar life-saving tools. Those interested becoming involved can contact the foundation on its website.