Winchester EMS is seeking donations from the public for two life-saving devices for its ambulance service.
An ongoing staffing and volunteer shortage at Winchester EMS has initiated fundraising for two LUCAS CPR devices. Winchester EMS EMT Libby Nobis says that a recent uptick in CPR calls along with their ongoing staffing problems prompted the push for the two machines: “They are automatic machines that actually do the chest compressions for you at a high, very efficient rate. We have been having an overwhelming number of CPR calls here recently. I believe we have had 6 or 7 in the last couple weeks. It takes at least 3 EMTs in the back of the ambulance, so you can switch off to do the CPR compressions because they are exhausting. We are about 20-30 minutes away from a hospital. Those 2-3 EMTs are pretty exhausted by the time you are getting to the hospital. You want to do those CPR compressions perfectly to save lives, and you want to do everything the right way.”
Nobis says that there are a number of ways for members of the Scott County community to donate to purchase the equipment: “We are asking the public to specifically donate to the Winchester EMS. We have a Venmo account set up. We have an account at Farmer’s State Bank in Winchester. You can drop checks off at the Winchester EMS building or give a donation to any of the members to put towards the CPR machines. We are requesting two. We have three ambulances. We had one ambulance out a few nights ago and they didn’t know that it was going to be a CPR call, and it ended up being a CPR call. We obviously could have used a machine in that instance, and it probably would have already been in the ambulance that we would have had back at the shed. The machines are pretty expensive. They cost, I believe, $16,500 apiece, so we are trying to raise funds for two of them.”
Nobis says there are currently 4 EMTs that take all of the calls through the Winchester EMS. One is currently at home from college, but they will be leaving soon and another is looking to retire. Nobis says they are always taking new volunteers. Nobis says that they are also looking at two potential grants to help fund the purchase of the devices.