Bill Frantz, a life member of Cohuna Fire Brigade and a former CFA volunteer was in Bendigo attending the 2019 CFA State Championships in March this year. An avid lover of dancing he attended the Spring Gully Dance Hall on Saturday March 9 when he started to feel strange before collapsing.
While unresponsive, quick thinking bystanders called Triple Zero straight away while the security guard grabbed the defibrillator and his dance partner who happened to be a retired nurse performed CPR.
CFA Commander Luke Waterson said the quick and early response by people attending the dance hall likely played a critical role in saving Bill’s life.
“Incidents like this highlight the importance of bystanders knowing basic medical procedures such as CPR as well as community facilities having deliberators,” he said.
“The quick thinking of the people around Bill helped save his life.”
Bill Frantz said he was glad he was surrounded by people that had the skills to save him.
“I’m incredibly humble and grateful for the joint effort by everyone that night. I might not be here if it wasn’t for them,” he said.
Commander Waterson also highlighted that CFA crews are now more than ever responding to Emergency Medical Response (EMR) incidents with Ambulance Victoria.
“It’s situations like this which highlight the importance of 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,” Commander Waterson said.
EMR is a co-responder program between Ambulance Victoria and CFA designed to improve survival from Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest.
The reunion today was a chance for all parties in the incident to come together after Bill had fully recovered.
Commander Waterson said it had taken until August for Bill to return to full health.
“Bill has only just been given the ok to drive again. The reunion is about celebrating the work CFA, Ambulance Victoria and the people at the Spring Gully Dance did that night,” he said.
“Bill is 100% again and it’s a credit to everyone involved.”
CFA firefighters take on many roles, so in many parts of Victoria, a firefighter could be the first one to arrive at your door for a life-threatening medical emergency. Don’t be alarmed and don’t turn us away – every second counts in a medical emergency.