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CFA begins EMR trial

Posted by CFA Media
Wednesday, 28 September 2011

CFA firefighters at Cranbourne, Dandenong, Hallam and Springvale integrated brigades have begun an historic 12-month Emergency Medical Response (EMR) trial after upgrading their lifesaving first-aid skills.

An eight-day intensive first-aid training course was delivered by Ambulance Victoria and allows those accredited firefighters to respond to life threatening ‘priority 0’ calls – such as cardiac arrest and any incident where a person is unconscious and not breathing – while an ambulance is on route, to help reduce response times.

CFA held an initial EMR trial in 2008 at Berwick, Mornington, Edithvale, Whittlesea and South Morang.

As part of the 12-month EMR trial, volunteer firefighters from the four integrated stations will also be given the opportunity to undertake the lifesaving training and respond just as they do for other emergencies.

All nine brigades now carry a first aid kit, oxygen kit, cervical collars and a defibrillator on their main fire trucks, for firefighters who have completed the course.

Southern Metropolitan Operations Manager Trevor Owen says that providing this additional service will add further value to the important role CFA plays in the community.

“CFA firefighters hold a great responsibility – to protect lives and property – and supporting Ambulance Victoria with this capability will enhance our service to the community,” Mr Owen said. 

"If you call for an ambulance and a fire truck turns up, don't be surprised or think there's a mistake – we can start treatment straight away and that might be the difference between life and death.”

Ambulance Victoria EMR Coordinator, Lindsay O’Brien, said the earlier cardiac arrest patients can be defibrillated, the more likely there will be a positive outcome.

Victoria has one of the best cardiac arrest survival rates in the world and an initiative like this means more people will have a better opportunity to be revived," Mr O’Brien said.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade has run an EMR service since 2000 and provided support in the CFA training program.

"MFB has been proud to be able to support this program with CFA passing on its operating procedures and loaning the EMR equipment they'll need to make this a success. EMR has become a key focus for the MFB growing to 4,500 calls a year and we can expect that trend in growth to continue," MFB CEO Nick Easy said.

"This typifies the broader emergency management role that firefighters have and is another excellent example of fire and emergency service operators working together for the good of the whole Victorian community,” he said.

For more information contact:

CFA Media (03) 5330 3124

Ambulance Victoria media (03) 9840 3513 

Last modified on Wednesday, 28 September 2011 14:53
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