already be in pain, but ….
already be in pain, but it also takes physical stress off the EMTs. Back and shoulder issues were becoming common due to the heavy lifting, which often occurs in uneven terrain or in tight spots.
“It’s as much for patient safety as it is for EMT safety,” Szymanski said.
A second purchase with the anonymous gift was of a Lucas device, which is placed over a cardiac victim’s chest to deliver mechanical compressions. The batterypowered device is said to be more consistent and efficient for the patient, and alleviates the fatigue an EMT might experience in trying to keep a patent alive with manual compressions.
“It’s a rather tiring job if you do it from here to Marshfi eld,” said service chief Mike Meyer. “That’s the beauty of it, it does not get tired.”
“It’s one of those pieces of equipment we hope we don’t have to use very often,” Szymanski said.
Another new piece of equipment that has long been desired but never affordable is a device that lifts heavy oxygen cylinders into the ambulance. The cylinders have to be lifted into a side door then fitted into a tight space, where they are then connected for the oxygen supply needed by patients. Getting the cylinders in place was always a struggle, but will now be much easier.
Those things are important, Meyer said, as the service tries to keep the EMTs it has safe and attempts to find new ones.
“The truth of the matter is, we’re all aging,” Meyer said. “We looked around at things that will more or less make our life easier.”
With 14 EMTs on the current call rotation, the service can always use more help, Meyer said. Getting that help will be easier as new candidates see the service is wellequipped.
“People are a pretty precious commodity in this business, especially in these rural areas,” Meyer said.
Service assistant chief Rick Szymanski said there would not likely have been money for the new devices had this donation not suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
“These are things we dreamt about having but never really had the budget to do it,” he said.
Dave Esselman, the service’s training officer, said the donation was “a godsend.”
“It was somebody nice enough to pay forward something they hope they’ll never need,” he said.
Margie Szymanski said all the EMTs are highly thankful to the donor for helping them more easily provide a vital service.
“Every time we go out, we say,’We love it,’” she said.