LCRA awards $6,813 grant to Tri County Emergency Medical Services
New CPR compression device will improve quality of care for cardiac arrest patients, increase safety for emergency responders
Oct. 25, 2022
INGLESIDE, Texas – Tri County Emergency Medical Services will be able to purchase a new automated CPR compression device thanks to the help of a $6,813 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.
LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $10,000 in matching funds from the EMS department, will pay for the CPR compression device that will help give cardiac arrest patients the best possible care.
Tri County Emergency Medical Services serves about a 100-square-mile area in San Patricio, Aransas and Nueces counties. About 25,000 people live in the communities of Aransas Pass, Ingleside and Ingleside on the Bay. While the EMS department’s rural service area doesn’t have a hospital, the cardiac arrest calls have increased with the growing population, already making up a record 10% of the department’s responses this year.
“This device is going to make a huge difference by basically adding another pair of hands to help during a cardiac response,” said executive director Carrie De Leon, who has been with Tri County Emergency Medical Services for 22 years. “The device provides consistent compressions without getting tired like people do, so you don’t need to switch out paramedics to maintain consistent and effective compressions.”
It also means additional paramedics won’t be pulled from elsewhere to assist with transporting cardiac arrest patients, she said. The EMS department maintains a minimum of one paramedic and one emergency medical technician in each ambulance, and that includes the driver.
“Cardiac arrest calls require two paramedics tending to the patient – one to provide compressions and the other to administer medications to the patient – because we don’t want a lone paramedic pausing compressions to administer medication,” De Leon said. “Currently, we have to pull a paramedic from another ambulance to assist with cardiac responses, leaving only the driver, which takes that ambulance out of service and reduces our resources.”
In addition to the automated CPR compression device improving the quality of care the EMS department can provide patients, the device also will make conditions safer for the paramedics and EMTs, De Leon said.
“COVID-19 was and continues to be a real game-changer for emergency responders, and using a device to provide CPR compressions will provide an extra layer of safety protection for our paramedics,” she said. “The device will be a win-win for everyone – giving patients the best chance possible to survive a cardiac arrest without taking responders away from other places they may be needed, while at the same creating a safer environment that allows our paramedics to provide the best care for our community.”
The community grant is one of 46 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.