LOWER MATECUMBE KEY RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS
DONATE MONEY FOR LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT AND TRAINING
Lower Matecumbe Key residents and business owners donated over $19,000 dollars for the purchase of a LUCAS Chest Compression System (LUCAS device) to be utilized by Islamorada Fire Rescue Station 19 Emergency Medical Responders. The LUCAS device is a CPR machine that provides mechanically controlled compressions that are able to sustain a higher blood flow to the brain and heart compared to manual compressions. A caregiver can quickly fatigue while giving chest compressions and the compressions become variable or weaker with fatigue. Utilizing the LUCAS device, a patient receives uninterrupted chest compressions while the Emergency Medical Responder is able to perform other life-saving medical treatment.
Larry Zettwoch, an Islamorada Fire Rescue Volunteer, began the fund-raising efforts after being given a challenge after one of the monthly CPR classes the Village provides for free to the community at Islamorada Fire Rescue Station 20. A LUCAS device was demonstrated during the class. The challenge by Caloosa Cove Resort and Marina and Safari Lounge Principal Sergio Rivera was that if Larry raised half the $19,000 cost for a LUCAS device, Mr. Rivera would pay the other half of the cost.
When the event to celebrate the generosity of the Lower Matecumbe community was held at the Safari Lounge March 15th, the full $19,000 had been collected and donations were still arriving. More than 65 individuals and businesses, all with direct connections to Lower Matecumbe Key, gave donations for the life-saving equipment. “It took off like a rocket”, said Larry Zettwoch, “I just keep saying it takes an island.”
With the cost of the LUCAS device covered, Sergio Rivera gave a separate $10,000 donation to Islamorada to fund Pediatric Medical Trauma and Emergency Training for Islamorada Fire Rescue personnel. Sergio’s brother, Peter Rivera presented the check to Islamorada Village Manager Seth Lawless at the March 15th event.
At its March 9th meeting, the Islamorada Village Council was made aware of the fundraising efforts and committed to contributing Village funds toward the purchase of the LUCAS device and training. With the purchase of the LUCAS device for Station 19, all three Islamorada Fire Rescue Stations have LUCAS devices for use by Emergency Medical Responders.
Islamorada Village Manager Seth Lawless (left) accepts donation for
LUCAS device from Larry Zettwoch (middle) and donation for
Pediatric Medical Training from Peter Rivera (right).
Jason Bryant, Geo Toth and Nick Fallero
with the new LUCAS device.