RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) – It looks kind of funny, but what it does is no laughing matter, and first responders say their first impression had them hooked on the new way to save lives.

When seconds and compressions count, this thing doesn’t miss a beat.

auto cpr Sac Metro Saving Lives With New Automatic CPR Device

The Lucas device takes the place of manual CPR but comes at a price, $15,000 per unit. (credit: CBS13)

“It never stops,” Sacramento Metro Fire Medical Director Dr. Kevin Mackey said.

But paramedics do and that’s the problem. Comparing the old-fashioned way side by side with the Lucas device, rescuers have to stop CPR to get the patient in the ambulance. Six seconds lost.

“And then when the ambulance is moving, that’s when it gets really challenging,” Mackey said.

Sacramento Metro Fire borrowed the new device, the second place in the country to get one, and they say they’ve got the stats to prove it works.

“The success stories are pretty dramatic,” Mackey said.

Manual CPR only saves 15 percent of people. With the Lucas, 50 percent regained a pulse.

One of the first lives saved was a woman in her 70s.

“En route to the hospital she regained pulses,” said Sac Metro EMS Ric Maloney. “Five days later she woke and she’s home talking.”

And she’s been talking to the fire district, extending her gratitude at a board meeting.

“Here I am,” she said. “They can’t keep a good dame down.”

Despite the amazing stats, the department couldn’t get past another set of numbers: the budget. They couldn’t afford a $15,000 Lucas device. That’s when a business owner stepped in.

After two Hazmat emergencies at the business and millions in damage prevented, PSC Environmental Services, an industrial waste company in Rancho Cordova, donated money for a new Lucas.

“They wanted to show their appreciation,” Maloney said.


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