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Community funds save a life
Lara Fire Brigade was paged to a grass and stubble fire on 1 March. Tanker 1 was first on scene quickly backed up by our colleagues from Little River brigade and followed by Lara Tanker 2 and Corio Tanker.
While crews were involved in the firefight in the paddocks near a farm house, the incident controller in Lara Tanker 1 was advised by VicFire that Ambulance Victoria had received a call for a person reported suffering smoke inhalation. Tanker 1 broke away from the firefight to look for the reported injured person. They found a person lying near a tractor complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath.
They assessed him and decided to treat it as a heart attack and applied a defibrillator just in case he deteriorated. That was a good move as no more than five minutes after they had the defib pads on the patient he started to go quiet, changed colour and the defib identified that his heart was in trouble and advised to shock the patient.
They followed procedures and shocked the patient and he regained composure, asked what had happened and actually stated he was feeling much better. The team had acted so quickly that the patient had the best possible outcome and limited the extent of cardiac and any possible brain damage from the cardiac arrest (fibrillation).
They continued to look after him until Ambulance Vic arrived on scene and transported him to hospital.
Volunteer firefighters David Love, Michelle Cable and Brian Stevens (pictured) should be recognised for what they achieved, along with the dispatchers who tied the information together about the two calls for help, and other CFA members who kept working on the fire.
We also need to remember all the members who raised money to buy the defib and the community members who donated money for them. This one event, that has saved and changed a life, is the result of a whole lot of little things that our community has made possible.