Every second counts when someone has a sudden cardiac arrest.

The Kent Volunteer Fire Department has a new tool to help save lives: the LUCAS Chest Compression System, which delivers uninterrupted automated chest compressions.

The new device was purchased with proceeds from New Milford Hospital’s Dave’s Day Golf Classic, which took place at Bull’s Bridge Golf Club in October.

The tournament was established by friends of Dave Flatau, a beloved Sherman resident who died in 2013 at age 56 of sudden cardiac arrest.

“This new equipment will go a long way in helping our community,” said Ambulance Chief Mike Petrone during a Feb. 10 presentation ceremony at the department.

Kent Volunteer Fire Department’s 75 emergency members respond to a variety of calls, from structure fires to medical emergencies.

Patients suffering from sudden cardiac arrest are especially at risk when it’s not possible for EMTs to apply manual chest compressions, such as when moving the patient up or down a flight of stairs.

“The device is immediately strapped onto the patient, and it delivers compressions at a more consistent rate than EMTs can, and it doesn’t get tired,” Petrone said.

The LUCAS device is safer to use in transport while the ambulance is traveling at high speeds and in windy conditions or on rough roads.

SCA is a leading cause of death in the United States among adults over 40, taking a life every two minutes.

Studies have shown that through early intervention with CPR, the use of an automated external defibrillator and advanced cardiac life support, four out of 10 patients survive.

The Kent Volunteer Fire Department is equipped with AEDs but until recently was the only department in the greater New Milford area that did not have a LUCAS device.

Dr. Carl D’Andrea, director of emergency services at New Milford Hospital, stressed that “any emergency care that can be done before the patient arrives in the Emergency Department greatly increases the patient’s chance of survival.”

“The tournament’s goal has been to raise funds to enhance cardiac care within the greater New Milford community,” said Bruce Haims, a member of the Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital boards of directors and co-founder/chairman of the Dave’s Day Golf Classic.

“It’s an area we hope to continue focusing on,” he said.

“Dave was a great guy who was always there to help,” Haims said. “He would be proud of this gift and the impact it will have on this community.”

The tournament raised $56,000 last year. Proceeds will also support the purchase of AEDs throughout the areas served by New Milford Hospital.