Warrnambool and Portland residents suffering cardiac result should not be alarmed if a fire truck arrives on the scene to save the day.
CFA career firefighters from the Warrnambool and Portland integrated brigades can now deliver Emergency Medical Response (EMR) aimed at increasing potentially life-saving medical assistance at the scene of emergency medical incidents.
The state government has provided $46.7 million in funding to implement the EMR program program at all integrated CFA brigades. The program has been rolled out in metropolitan areas since 2015 and is now reaching regional cities across Victoria.
Warrnambool CFA operations officer Paul Marshall said the program meant firefighters and paramedics were dispatched at the same time to treat unconscious, non-breathing or pulse-less patients.
As a result, it will be more common to see a fire truck at life-threatening medical emergencies in Warrnambool and Portland.
“It’s important that the community is aware of this new program so that if a fire truck turns up for a medical emergency they aren’t turned away,” he said.
“Once a call is a made an alert will be sent to both fire and ambulance and whoever gets there first will deliver life-saving treatment to the patient.”
Ambulance Victoria’s Warrnambool group manager Tony Oxford said early intervention was key to saving the life of someone suffering cardiac arrest.
“In a cardiac arrest, what you do before emergency services arrive can greatly improve the chance of someone’s survival,” he said.
“Early CPR provides blood flow though to a person’s brain and vital organs, and means they have a better chance of survival when medical help arrives.”