Grant provides life-saving equipment for the Renovo Fire Company

KEVIN RAUCH/THE EXPRESS Renovo Fire Department assistant chief Josh Kanouff, left, and member Brandon Fleisher stand next to the company’s new Lucas 3 Tool, a piece of emergency equipment that can be strapped to a person during a cardiac event that provides continuous CPR chest compressions.

RENOVO — The Renovo Fire Department always feels fortunate when receiving grants for new equipment. The group of volunteers typically await the arrival of new apparatus and then spend the next day or two learning how to use it and practice operating it under stressful situations to make sure those who have the potential of utilizing it are qualified and prepared to do so.

This was the case recently when Station #29 welcomed a new Lucas Tool, the Lucas 3, to the fire house. The potential life saving device is designed to assist during a cardiac event, when CPR cannot be accomplished manually. The Lucas 3 is put on top of a patient’s chest and automatically compresses the center of the chest the required 2-2.4 inches to try and save the person’s life.

The Lucas 3 comes with a price tag near $20,000. The main funder of the grant was TransCanada Corporation with Noyes Township and the Renovo Boy Scout Troop #137 also assisting to make the tool a reality in Renovo.

TransCanada, one of North America’s leading energy infrastructure companies with operations in natural gas, oil and power industries that include a station in North Bend is responsible for making this an even more unique experience than usual for the emergency responders.

A public relations crew that included a full camera and interview team from Calgary, Alberta, Canada ascended on the Renovo Fire Department to meet with station members, documenting what life is like for a small town, isolated, rural fire department.

KEVIN RAUCH/THE EXPRESS Renovo Fire Department Chief Jim Risley and other company members were interviewed and the subject of a video that was made last week by the public relations department of TransCanada Corporation. The natural gas company that has a station in North Bend wanted to document the impact that their grants have to the communities that receive them.

“We are filming a video to help create awareness that we have funding available to the communities where we operate. First responders play a vital role in communities and since we share a commitment to safety, this type of initiative is exactly what we are looking for,” said Emma Harrow, a community investment advisor.

Harrow said that TransCanada employee and RFD member Brandon Fleisher was a valuable source in determining what type of grant could most help western Clinton County.

“With our employee Brandon giving us his input, we could not have asked for a more appropriate person making recommendations on a great opportunity for us,” Harrow explained. “Brandon is a volunteer firefighter, and he has first-hand knowledge of what the community’s needs are.”

Renovo Chief Jim Risley could not agree more.

“We’re 30 minutes from any type of Advanced Life Support, something like this will prove to be a Godsend… I have no doubt,” Risley said.

The chief explained two likely scenarios that will likely play out and call for using the Lucas 3.

“Anytime a hunter, ATV rider or whatever is out in the woods and we need to do chest compression while carrying the patient, this tool will be used,” Risley said. While carrying a patient over unleveled ground, manual chest compressions are a complicated matter, if not impossible, for a rescuer to properly administer CPR, since the height needed for the administrator is complicated to achieve.

Risley also noted that anytime an extraction is made and a patient is carried down stairways or in tight-fitting hallways, the Lucas 3 will be much more efficient than manual compressions.

The Lucas 3 has two settings. It can be set to do the required 30 compressions before indicating that it is time for someone to administer two breaths of oxygen or it can be set to do compressions until turned off.

As for the three benefactors — TransCanada, Noyes Township and Boy Scout Troop 137 — the fire chief could not be more thankful.

“This will save lives in the future. The community no doubt joins us in thanking everyone that made this possible. I hope to have a running relationship with TransCanada. Their support of our company has been great,” Risley said.