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More CFA stations now EMR capable
CFA firefighters at integrated brigades will help protect more Victorian lives by responding to life-threatening medical emergencies alongside Ambulance Victoria paramedics.
And the message to residents is: Don’t be surprised if you see a fire truck and an ambulance at a life-threatening medical emergency.
EMR is a joint program between CFA and Ambulance Victoria designed to strengthen the chain of survival, which improves survival from cardiac arrest. The program is gathering pace with firefighters recently gaining the capability in South Warrandyte, Rowville and Boronia. This follows a pilot program at seven integrated stations including Dandenong and Springvale, and three volunteer stations Berwick, Edithvale and Whittlesea
CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said the program sees firefighters and paramedics dispatched at the same time to assist in a life-threatening medical emergency.
“Firefighters take on many and varied roles. If a firefighter arrives at your door for a life-threatening medical emergency do not turn them away. Every second counts in emergencies,” he said.
“Our fire trucks can be out the door of the fire station in less than 90 seconds. Firefighters will respond with the nearest ambulance to help unconscious patients and patients who are not breathing by providing access to life-saving emergency care.
“By working together we have a better chance of saving someone’s life.”
The state government has contributed $46.7 million to the program to expand EMR to include all CFA’s 35 integrated brigades.
Other brigades to come on line with the capability this year include Frankston, Patterson River, Pakenham, Rosebud, Traralgon and Morwell.
Ambulance Victoria Chief Executive Officer Tony Walker said the program was the result of a successful pilot and was already well-established at Metropolitan Fire Brigade.
“In a cardiac arrest what you do before emergency services arrive can greatly improve the chance of someone’s survival, and we encourage people to attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR),’’ Mr Walker said
“Any CPR is better than no CPR.
“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.”