Page 5 - Hot News June 2016
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LIFE-SAVING AT HEART OF NEW SCHEME
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service launched a life- saving cardiac scheme in partnership with North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) earlier this year.
Now, when a person dials 999 to report a suspected cardiac arrest (a condition where the heart stops pumping blood around the body because of a fatal abnormal heart rhythm), both NWAS and MFRS will respond and whoever reaches the casualty first will start providing life-saving treatment.
Once the ambulance crew arrives, advanced life support will commence and the patient will be handed into the care of NWAS.
Similar schemes launched in Lancashire and Greater Manchester in 2015 have proved to be very successful.
Under the new initiative, MFRS is contacted when
a suspected cardiac arrest is reported near to a fire station, with crews able to respond on blue lights to a situation where literally every second can mean the difference between life and death.
Early intervention in cases of cardiac arrest is vital to the patient’s chances of survival and subsequent recovery; for every minute that passes before basic life support can be administered, the chances of survival decrease by ten per cent.
Suitably trained and equipped Firefighters from MFRS will deliver treatment in the form of CPR and through the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), stabilising the situation until advanced clinical care is provided by ambulance crews.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said:
“Emergency services are already very successful in working closely together, so this scheme makes sense and is a natural progression for us.
“Firefighters attending a cardiac arrest are equipped with a trauma bag containing resuscitation equipment, a first aid kit and a defibrillator.
“Only Firefighters who have received the appropriate training and are fully qualified to use this equipment will administer treatment to people who have suffered cardiac arrest. This is in addition to the first aid training all Firefighters receive.”
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