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Peoria Fire Department Unveils New Cardiac Rescue Device

Kristin McHugh

The Peoria Fire Department is one of the first large-scale Illinois operations to implement a new cardiac rescue device. Officials unveiled the ResQCPR unit Thursday. Peoria Fire Department Chief Ed Olehy says the plunger-like, hand-held unit improves upon traditional chest compressions used for patients in sudden cardiac arrest.

“With the new device we’ll actually pull the chest up which allows us to pull more blood back into the heart, so that when we do the compression again we can pump more blood back around the body,” says Olehy.

Olehy adds the new device improves the chance of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest. “The teamwork of CPR right now that’s going on in the streets of Peoria is very, very good. The teamwork between the fire department and AMT (is) working very well. This device would be just one more tool.”

Twenty units cost $40-thousand and were donated to the Peoria Fire Department by Advanced Medical Transport (AMT), the city's ambulance service. The units will be in use beginning June 8, 2018.

Chief Olehy says medical calls account for approximately 80-percent of the Peoria fire department’s annual calls.


Kristin McHugh is an experienced radio journalist and nonprofit manager. Most recently, she served as executive director of the Peoria Area World Affairs Council.