Covington firefighters use LUCAS device to perform CPR, save 60-year-old woman

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Covington Firefighters pose with the family of Vanessa Dolan and the LUCAS device they used to save Dolan’s life.

COVINGTON – A woman who collapsed in a pharmacy and was clinically dead is about to be released from the hospital thanks to lifesaving CPR administered by a bystander and some cutting edge technology.

When 60-year-old Vanessa Dolan collapsed in a pharmacy, bystander Stacy Barney immediately jumped into action and began administering CPR, according to Covington Fire Department Chief Gary Blocker.

Firefighters soon arrived, took over chest compressions, and applied an Automated External Defibrillator.

The firefighters also deployed a brand new, $21,000 LUCAS device, which automatically provides the chest compressions central to the CPR technique.

The use of the LUCAS device freed the firefighters to perform other lifesaving tasks, according to Blocker.

“Mrs. Dolan’s chance of survival would have decreased dramatically without bystanders calling 911, Stacy Barney performing CPR, the Covington Fire Department delivering defibrillation and having the LUCAS device, and Acadian Ambulance performing advance care and transportation,” Blocker said in a press release.

This case marks the first time Covington firefighters have used a LUCAS device in the field.

“I’m so grateful that they didn’t give up on my wife,” Neville Dolan said. “It was an absolute miracle that everyone was in the right place at the right time, including the new LUCAS device. Starting with a citizen of the community, Stacey Barney, who didn’t have to help at all but administered CPR immediately…and much gratitude to Covington Fire Department, Acadian Ambulance, and St. Tammany Hospital. I hope to give more exposure to the importance of the public’s willingness to help in emergency situations.”

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