Multiple lives saved by new equipment from Roanoke Fire-EMS

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — A new piece of equipment is proving to be very useful for first responders in Roanoke.

“It’s very user-friendly. It’s easy to use,” said Lt. Alex McKinney with Roanoke Fire-EMS.

It’s described by many as small and compact, but others say it’s the future for patient care.

“We’re being the example,” said Capt. Jason Crouch, supervisor of EMS operations for Roanoke Fire-EMS.

Two Zoll ventilators are located at the department.

Fire officials received the new equipment last November.

“We can now control people’s airways safely,” Crouch said. “[It’s] exactly what they do at the hospital. We can now do that pre-hospital.”

The special device can control the amount of air given to those with severe respiratory illnesses or injuries.

Something that couldn’t be done before.

“With the bag valve mask, is just a one size fits all. It’s got a certain amount of air that we can push into patient, and we can’t really regulate it,” McKinney said.

Just a week after being placed on the trucks, the customizable machine saved someone’s life – a woman who was found unresponsive and not breathing.

“Units responded to the scene. On their arrival, they did in fact find that she had no pulses and was not breathing, so they began their life saving efforts,” said Capt. Mike Moomey with Roanoke Fire-EMS.

However, fire officials in Roanoke aren’t the only ones to use it. First responders in Salem and Botetourt County also have their own ventilators, all thanks to their partnership with Roanoke Fire-EMS.

“We’re able to innovate better. We’re able to train better. We’re all able to be on the same page,” said Crouch.

All striving to provide the best care to their patients.

“We’re working together to make sure everyone is above the bar and everyone is providing the best service that we possibly can to our communities,” Crouch said.

The department plans to conduct year-long research on the new ventilators, to determine how well it’s working and to improve any protocols.

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