More Firies Responding To Heart Attacks To Help Save Lives

02 October 2016

More firefighters will be helping paramedics save the lives of heart attack victims, with the Emergency Medical Response (EMR) Program starting today in five fire stations across Victoria.

Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino and Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy visited the Frankston Fire Station to launch EMR services at Frankston, Patterson River, Rosebud, Pakenham and Traralgon.

The number of Victorians suffering heart attacks increased to a ten-year high last year, putting greater pressure on Ambulance Victoria and emergency response times.

From today, firefighters at the five new EMR capable fire stations will be dispatched to respond to triple zero calls for heart attack and non-breathing patients at the same time as paramedics.

CFA and Ambulance Victoria trialled the program in 2011 and found it significantly improved response times and helped increase survival rates of heart attack patients.

Each EMR capable fire station has been upgraded with emergency medical response equipment and defibrillators have been installed in the fire trucks.

All operational firefighters at EMR capable stations have received specialist training to provide basic life support and give CPR.

The Andrews Labor Government is establishing the EMR program at all 35 integrated CFA stations around the state, with 15 integrated stations now providing emergency medical response.

The EMR program is also in full operation in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, which has successfully provided the critical first responder services since 2000.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino

“Training fire fighters to respond to heart attacks will help support our paramedics and save lives.”

“The integrated fire stations where fire fighters will respond to heart attack calls are in Victoria’s growth areas where the demand for services is increasing – this will help deliver faster emergency medical response times for these growing communities and save lives.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“We know that in a life threatening emergency such as a heart attack every second counts.”

“By working together, our paramedics and fire fighters are making sure Victorians get the life-saving emergency care they need, sooner.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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