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EMR reunion in Hallam

  • SSO Kerry Phillips, Ryan, LFF Jamie Lakeland, LFF Marcel van Elmpt, LFF Phillip Hicks.
  • SSO Kerry Phillips, Pam, Ryan, LFF Jamie Lakeland, LFF Marcel van Elmpt, LFF Phillip Hicks.

It was a heartfelt reunion at the Hallam Fire Station on Sunday (13 August) when CFA firefighters hosted a BBQ for a patient whose life they helped save back in 2015.

Two years ago out of nowhere Ryan, aged 36, passed out at his desk mid conversation with a colleague. When Ryan was unresponsive, quick thinking colleagues called Triple Zero straight away and began the CPR process.

Hallam Leading Firefighter Marcel Van Elmpt said that early intervention from his colleagues played a vital role in saving Ryan’s life.

“It’s situations like this which highlight the importance of Emergency Medical Response (EMR) and demonstrate why the system works. One or two minutes in this type of medical emergency can be the difference between life and death,” he said.

EMR is a co-responder program between Ambulance Victoria and CFA designed to improve survival from Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest.

MICA Paramedic Rohan Mostert, who was also present at the incident, said Ryan is living proof that early CPR can save lives.

“Early CPR provides blood flow to a person’s brain and vital organs and means they have a better chance of survival when medical help arrives.

“In this case, CFA arrived three minutes before paramedics and were able to continue CPR and use a defibrillator to shock the man’s heart.

“He was still in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived.

“Ryan’s heart was shocked another seven times by paramedics over the next 35 minutes. The defibrillation combined with administration of cardiac medication resulted in Ryan regaining a pulse.

“He was taken to hospital in a critical condition, and it’s great to know that he is back to enjoying life again.”

Sunday’s lunch provided fireys, Ryan and his wife with the opportunity to share stories about the past two years since the incident.

“We showed Ryan around the station and explained the process we went through on the day.

Ryan was really taken aback and I think it was a bit of an eye opener for him, he seemed amazed by some of the things we were explaining,” said Marcel.

“Ryan is a very humble man and we could see how truly grateful he and his wife were.

“It’s very rare that we get to have this sort of contact with people after incidents so it was quite emotional for us too.

“It’s days like this that remind us why we do what we do and we were overwhelmed by the gratitude they expressed.

“Everyone was looking forward to seeing him and we were blown away by his efforts."

Last Updated: 24 August 2017