Ohio County is continuing to distribute equipment that could save its citizens lives, and this time it’s to first responders.

The AutoPulse Resuscitation System gives hands-free compressions, or CPR, when placed on a patient by first responders and now five volunteer fire departments now have this system and the training to use it. 

“For the community it is invaluable,” said Lisa Fortunato, Territory Manager for ZOLL Medical Corporation. 

It’s invaluable for first responders as well. 

“It’s really difficult for medics, whether they are sitting stationary to do perfect compressions, it’s very exhausting and they get very tired,” said Fortunato, who also conducted training on the system. 

With the AutoPulse, the chances of a return of pulse and circulation to a patient are improved, moving three times the blood as traditional CPR. It can also help first responders more effectively find veins to insert IV treatments. 

These $14,000 machines are now being used thanks to taxpayer dollars at work, donated by Ohio County Commission. 

The AutoPulse machines were donated on Wednesday evening to the West Liberty, Stone Church, Valley Grove, Triadelphia and Clearview Volunteer Fire Departments. 

“They’re having heart problems and need to get to the hospital, this piece of equipment will do wonders and just make Ohio County and the volunteers within our county on the cutting edge when it comes to caring for our people,” said Ohio County Commission President Orphy Klempa. 

The system frees up first responders’ hands to transport the patient and provide other medical care. They can do so more safely and effectively. 

“This device is specifically meant to be able to do resuscitation on the move,” Fortunato explained.  

With the AutoPulse, first responders are able to remain seated while transporting patients instead of standing, which could be dangerous. 

“We really appreciate them helping us to help the public, said Bill Cox, Chief of the West Liberty Volunteer Fire Department. “We bring people from all over the county through crooked roads and all directions to the hospital and they have a much better chance of survival that way.”