West Point gives $15K to fire department for life-saving equipment

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West Point Fire and Rescue Chief Tim Martin on Monday night demonstrated the use of the LUCAS Power 3 Chest Compression System at the West Point Town Council meeting. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT – The West Point Town Council on Monday night presented West Point Fire and Rescue with a $15,000 check for the purchase of a second LUCAS Power 3 system, which administers CPR chest compressions.

Councilman Gerald Schafer said, “We really appreciate all our fire department does. We thank them for their dedication.”

Fire Chief Tim Martin brought a LUCAS Power 3 to demonstrate its use to the council.

Said Martin, “We as the fire department want to thank the council for helping us out with this. This is the second unit we were awarded in the last month or so. Now we have one at Station 1 and one at Station 2. The council has stepped up and took public safety and the well-being of the community in their hands by helping us do this.”

The LUCAS Power 3 is a portable and compact chest compression unit that provides a consistent rhythm and allows the first responder to tend to bagging and ventilating.

Martin added, “Many may be aware of the current personnel shortages fire departments are facing and with this, one person can provide good CPR with the machine while tending to other issues.”

The LUCAS can provide an hour of compressions per battery, and each unit is equipped with a second back-up battery. 

The machine also has a back plate that can be placed under the patient. The top can then be placed over the patient and attached to the back plate. The plate provides a firm surface, which allows CPR to be performed in bed, in a chair or other places. Traditional CPR requires that the patient be moved to a floor or other hard flat service in order for the compression to be effective. 

Martin spoke of the many benefits of the new equipment but emphasized, “Not only will these units help our community, we run calls with neighboring communities that might now this equipment. This will let us keep one in our community while assisting with (a medical) arrest call in a neighboring community.”

The department’s first LUCAS Power 3 was paid for by a grant from the Cullman County Community Development Commission (CCCDC).

In other business, the council voted to table the discussion for a splash pad for the town’s park. With plans to apply for a CCCDC grant later in the year to help fund the project, the council said it will revisit the plans for the splash pad in the fall. 

The West Point Parks and Recreation Department is currently creating a contingency plan for the park to have in place prior to the start of baseball season in April. Director Wesley Laney explained that the plan will include training coaches on concussion and safety. The council also discussed the possibility of purchasing a defibrillator for the park and having an off-duty deputy present at games. Nothing was voted on, but the council said it will likely decide at next month’s meeting. 

Schafer then took a moment to address what he said is the misinformation he continues to hear regarding the Dale’s Market, saying, “The Town did not give money to Dale’s Market. The Town did pay for the new turn lane, and that’s it.”

The West Point Town Council meets on the third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at West Point Town Hall.

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