New machine helping Cabell County EMS save lives, one compression at a time


CABELL COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — For anyone experiencing a life-threatening emergency, having reliable emergency medical help on-site is crucial.

Paramedics recently received new gear which is going to make their emergency medical care safer and more effective for those in the Cabell County community.

“It’ll most definitely increase the chance of survival,” says David McClure, a paramedic supervisor with Cabell County Emergency Medical Services, of the new machine.  

“We received them Monday, the training started Monday, we’ll complete the training of all the paramedics and EMT, and we’ll put them on the road this Friday. Every ambulance in Cabell County EMS will have one,” says Gordon Merry, the director of Cabell County Emergency Medical Services.

What exactly is the new machine? Clinical deployment specialist with ZOLL Medical Brian Scheer explains:

“We’re teaching Cabell County EMS how to use the AutoPulse. It’s a mechanical CPR device. It’s going to replace that person doing compressions.”

It’s not replacing the manual chest compressions completely.

“You will never replace a person with a machine when it comes to CPR. To start, you have to use CPR the old-fashioned way before you get the new device on,” says Danny Reynolds, a paramedic with Cabell County Emergency Medical Services.

However, once its on it will be able to provide medical service in situations when emergency personnel cannot.

“It’s going to be able to be used in motion—going up and down stairs where we can’t do CPR, in the back of an ambulance where it’s not really safe for us,” Scheer says.

Not only will the machine allow paramedics and EMTs to deliver continuous, highly effective compressions—its also actually safer for the patients and paramedics alike.

“You know with COVID, and keeping people away from people that have COVID, this allows rescuers to back off a little bit, instead of being right up in that little triangle,” Scheer says.

It is also gentler on the patient than manual compressions typically are.

“It takes the human error factor out of the scenario,” McClure says.

The bottom line is:

“Whatever the different tasks are involved in CPR, this is going to be that third set of hands,” Reynolds says.

The county received 31 of the AutoPulse compression machines, and they will be deployed in every ambulance come Friday—once all emergency medical personnel are fully trained.

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