Foundation seal

NSFD receives grant for lifesaving equipment

The North Shelby Fire District has a new piece of life saving equipment for their department thanks to a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. 

The unveiling of the LUCAS 3 chest compression system took place at a presentation held on June 6. 

The device was purchased with a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and local Firehouse Subs franchise owner Claudia Porter presented the department with a check for $14,745.

“This is our third award we’ve received from Firehouse Subs, and our second Lucas device we've received from them,” said NSFD Chief Randy Sipe. 

The LUCAS 3 device allows for mechanical CPR to be performed by delivering uninterrupted chest compressions at a consistent rate, reducing firefighter fatigue and helping improve a patient's chance of survival.

The device is placed on a patient and when the machine comes down on their chest, it knows how deep to press and does continuous compressions. Sipe said the device can run 45 minutes on one battery while also freeing up a first responder for other duties as needed.

According to the American Heart Association, 475,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest each year. With this device, the North Shelby Fire District will be better equipped to save lives. 

Sipe said it will save time now that each department will have its own LUCAS device. Two departments have them in fire trucks and one will be in the transportation unit. 

As for how often the devices are used, Sipe said whenever someone is having a cardiac arrest where CPR needs to be provided. 

“It just comes in spurts,” Sipe said. We won’t use it for a while and then use it almost every other day. It gets used quite a lot.”

John and Claudia Porter have owned Firehouse restaurants in the Birmingham area for almost 17 years and thank their customers for their generosity. 

“In our restaurant, at the end of each transaction, we ask our customers if they’d like to round up their change to the next dollar to go to first responders. We also sell our empty pickle buckets,” Claudia Porter said.  “Every penny donated to the foundation goes back to first responders in communities across the country. It's a tremendous thing.” 

Since the Firehouse Public Safety Foundation was formed in 2005, more than $3 million has been donated to first responders throughout the state of Alabama, including $1.5 million in the greater Birmingham area alone. 

“The Brook Highland location has always raised a great deal of money for first responders and that money is set aside and goes to grants,” she said. 

Porter said they have donated the compression units and other equipment to departments that have saved lives the very next day. 

It's really amazing what communities can do when they realize there’s a need, she said.  

NSFD has stations at Valleydale Road, Caldwell Mill Lane and on U.S. 119 near the Meadowbrook Post Office. 

“The Porters are good neighbors and good to have in our community,” Sipe said.

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