Auto CPR Device Removed From Fla. Fire Trucks

Auto CPR Device Removed From Fla. Fire Trucks

News Aug 25, 2010

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. --

The Orange County Fire Department took devices that were designed to save lives out of its rescue trucks. The AutoPulse device is supposed to help medics give patients CPR, but firefighters are afraid it could be a liability.

Orange County Fire Rescue spent $600,000 on 55 of the automated CPR devices called AutoPulse to improve efficiency four years ago. The Massachusetts-based manufacturer, Zoll, says they are more reliable than manual CPR, but the fire chief just signed a memo ordering his staff to remove the devices from rescue vehicles.

"We didn't want to use a piece of equipment that really needed some adjustments," said Lt. Mark Smothers, Orange County Fire Rescue.

Serious problems popped up earlier this year. An internal review over an 18-month period found the battery failed 30 percent of the time while being used on trauma patients who stopped breathing. They were used on 400 patients since 2009.

"These machines don't take care of patients. Firefighters take care of patients," Smothers said.

Fire officials insist patients were never in jeopardy, because when the device failed there was always a firefighter within arms reach to take over CPR.

"Was this a complete waste of money?" WFTV reporter Daralene Jones asked Smothers.

"No," he replied.

The senior vice president with Zoll, Ward Hamilton, insisted during a phone interview his product is reliable. He says other departments are testing it now and they've sold 5,000 since they hit the market in 2005. He blamed the battery failure on Orange County Fire Rescue.

Continue Reading

"There is probably some reason to think that they could've done a better job at replacing their batteries," Hamilton said.

Orange County officials said the problem is strictly a manufacturer defect and, until it's fixed, the automatic CPR machines won't go back in the rescue trucks.

Officials with Rural Metro told WFTV they don't use the AutoPulse units because of concerns over the effectiveness and reliability. However, they are evaluating other products on the market.

Orlando Fire doesn't use the device either.

Copyright 2010 by wftv.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Story by <a target=_new href=http://www.wftv.com/>wftv.com</a>
Avaya plans to honor the Texas Commission as it sees the adoption of Kari’s Law build across the country, a law which would mandate any company or organization with multi-line telephone systems to provide direct-dial access to 9-1-1.
The company achieves a milestone of its first U.S. regulatory filing for a medical device which would aid in hemostasis and wound care.
Senators will have to vote on multiple amendments on the health care repeal bill.
County commissioners decided to write off over $5 million in uncollectible ambulance bills owed by residents, an amount that has been building since the 1940s.
The amount of deaths caused by substance abuse and mental health issues in the first half of 2017 have surpassed the total deaths of 2016.

The raging wildfires have forced 10,000 residents to evacuate their homes. 

For the first time in my EMS career, I froze.
The two agencies compete for ticket votes from blood donors to raise awareness for the increased need for blood during the summer.
Los Angeles firefighters and law enforcement are "resource rich" in nuclear threat preparation, like specialized trucks with advanced sensors for radiation levels, says the emergency operations commander.

Lee County, Fla. EMS will soon have its own substation in North Fort Myers. Chiefs for the North Fort Myers Fire District and Lee County EMS said it was time for a change because of overcrowding. 

EMS professionals are all taught to look for a MedicAlert bracelet or a necklace. This simple step has become much more complex in the information age, and we may not realize for what and where to look.
The drill involving over 200 people put multiple first responder agencies to the test.
The training was based on lessons learned from the Columbine shooting and taught school employees safety and security measures.
One third of the state's record-high 376 overdose deaths that occurred last year were caused by prescribed painkillers.
The training will be focused on prescribing buprenorphine, the drug used to assist patients in quitting their opiate addiction and relieve withdrawal symptoms.