Rockford Firefighters sharpen their life saving skills

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Being able to perform CPR properly can be critical in saving a persons life and that’s why the SwedishAmerican’s EMS department is training Rockford firefighters on what to do in life threatening emergencies.

“Our survival rate rather from cardiac arrest in the city of Rockford is higher than the national average. We are usually about ten or 20 percent higher than the national average,” said Brian Park, the EMS coordinator for the Rockford Fire Department.

From the moment a 911 call is received to the time EMTS arrive. Every moment is critical in saving someone’s life. Rockford firefighters learn exactly what to do when a patient goes into cardiac arrest. And it’s not just firefighters at this training 911 dispatchers are there too. They get trained to instruct callers on steps to take before firefighters arrive.

“The benefit for that is that it decreases the volume in the emergency department it’s better to keep people healthy than to try to make them healthy later,” said Dr. John Underwood, EMS Medical Director for SwedishAmerican.

The training appears to be paying off. But, they want to do better. Not only are firefighters learning CPR, they’re taking it to the next level with training in advanced life support, pediatric life support, and pre-hospital trauma life support.

“We’re exploring things like putting a nurse in our 911 center to help us triage out low community calls and maybe divert them to an appropriate level of care or appropriate care setting,” Park said.

On May 20th the Rockford Fire Department will host its Survivors event where they celebrate the lives they saved

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