Oregon Agency Building a CPR Community

Oregon Agency Building a CPR Community

News Dec 28, 2012

Dec. 28--Medford Fire-Rescue wants 2013 to be the year of CPR awareness and training.

The department is spearheading a program that aims to see city of Medford employees and every seventh-grader in town trained in proper cardiopulmonary resuscitation technique, said Eli Champagne, a firefighter and paramedic with Medford Fire-Rescue.

"We think it's a critical skill to have, no matter who you are," Champagne said. "This year we trained about 400 people and we want to see that number grow in 2013."

The department will begin making its push into the schools, where its goal is to give each seventh-grade student training in CPR.

The program also will send the students home with an assignment to help a minimum of five people in the community, family or friends, learn about CPR and how to perform it correctly, said Samantha Metheny, a fire investigator and a CPR coordinator with the department.

"The students will get a DVD and a mannequin to take home to practice on," she said.

The homework assignment won't be a comprehensive CPR training experience, but will give those people who watch the DVD and read the literature a good idea of what to do if someone close to them experiences a heart attack.

Champagne and Metheny stress the importance of reacting quickly in a medical emergency.

"We want people to remember two important things," Metheny said. "They need to first call 911 and then begin chest compressions."

The earlier the chest compressions begin, the higher the survival rate, Champagne said.

Continue Reading

That strategy paid off recently when three Medford Public Works employees rushed to the aid of a man who suffered a massive heart attack on Laurel Street.

The employees were working on the street when they heard a woman scream for help. They entered the home and found a man lying on the floor. He had suffered a heart attack and was not breathing.

They began chest compressions and were able restart a pulse in the man before paramedics arrived.

The key to chest compressions is to be forceful and not worry about injuring the patient's chest, Metheny said. Some people are hesitant to begin CPR because they are afraid of doing it wrong.

"Yes, you can break ribs or separate cartilage, but I'd rather survive a heart attack and heal from broken ribs than die," Metheny said.

The department recently purchased five automatic CPR machines that will be fitted on one engine at each fire station.

The machine will deliver measured chest compressions to adults who suffer cardiac arrest.

The machines will make it easier for paramedics to keep consistent compression on a patient as they are loaded onto a gurney and transported to the hospital, Champagne said.

"It was difficult to continue compressions as the patient was being moved around," he said. "It was a struggle to maintain consistency."

The machine consists of a back board that stabilizes the patient and a band that wraps around the chest. The band then pushes down on the patient's chest with enough force to push blood in and out of the heart.

The department offers free CPR classes every other month. The classes are certified by the American Heart Association, and each student will receive a CPR card upon successful completion of the course. For more information on Medford Fire-Rescue community CPR classes, call 541-774-2300.

Copyright 2012 - Mail Tribune, Medford, Ore.

Mail Tribune, Medford, Ore.
Chris Conrad
Leaders want to provide first responders with guidelines to follow when handling calls relating to human trafficking.
The study will assess Florida's Division of Emergency Management's response to Hurricane Irma and determine the lessons learned.
The state funding will provide 120,000 doses for first responders, including Pittsburgh park rangers.
The budget cut allowed the department to cross-staff, using firefighters to staff ambulances due to medical calls outnumbering fire calls.
Starting next year, the insurer will reimburse treatment that doesn’t require the emergency department.
One of the two Northern California wildfires have been fully contained due to cooler temperatures and light rain.
Kenneth Scheppke challenged longstanding traditions in patient care that have not withstood current scrutiny.

EMTs and other first responders who treated the wounded on scene of the Vegas shooting could be at risk for post-traumatic stress.

All EMS, fire, and law enforcement agencies in the county will participate in the drill along with 100 volunteers portraying victims of the shooting.
As the state begins facing the effects of the opioid crisis, medical professionals, law enforcement and prosecutors join the national discussion on possible solutions to the epidemic.
Only one of three in the country, the "rapid extrication team" assists in rescuing injured firefighters while local crews battle the forest fires.
The paramedic-staffed chase car would respond to ALS calls in a timelier manner and help alleviate several local fire departments' calls.
Las Vegas and Orlando massacres set a solemn tone for the normally festive event.
In a project to raise grant funding that began a year ago, the Richmond Ambulance Authority and VCU Health teamed up to provide 35 of Richmond’s Public Schools with Bleeding Control (BCON) equipment. 
Mercy Health's new two-story, 29,000 square foot center features a Level 1 trauma center, an expanded surgical area, and more comfortable patient and visitor access.