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First responders in Nassau County who save lives every day just got some help. And it’s already helping them save more lives.

Nassau ambulances have new technology on board that, at a crucial moment, can help turn a tragedy into a life saved. It’s a change that is making Nassau safer and better able to protect residents facing a medical emergency. Every county ambulance is equipped with a state-of-the-art chest compression device that first responders can use to treat cardiac arrest while still in the vehicle. It’s a fairly small piece of equipment that can make a big difference.

Our first responders started working with the Defibtech Lifeline ARM Automated Chest Compression device about a month ago. In that time, it was used 22 times, helping save 10 lives with a 45 percent success rate. That’s in comparison to a 30 percent rate with manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 

The Nassau County Police Department bought 30 devices with $300,000 in asset forfeiture funds. In other words, we’re using money seized from criminals and drug dealers to save lives. This initiative would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Legislator Siela Bynoe (D-Westbury), who worked collaboratively with our police. 

Automating compressions makes sense in principle and in practice. While a human being may become exhausted or do compressions at a less-than-ideal rate, this device used by trained first responders can accurately time compressions without tiring. The net result: More lives are saved.

This device can free first responders to do other tasks and continue doing compressions even when a person is moved. Interruptions or pauses in CPR, even due to other rescue-related activities, can reduce a person’s chances of survival. Using automated devices to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation compressions increases chances of survival.

We owe our first responders our gratitude. Giving them better equipment so they can do their job even better is one way to both help them and help ourselves. First responders are still the ones who perform the rescues, but now they have one more tool at their disposal. 

No one wants to imagine that they could one day find themselves in a life-or-death medical emergency. However, our residents can be confident that Nassau will go above and beyond to protect and save you when your life is on the line. 

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