With over thirty years of experience in the Fire/EMS industry I’ve witnessed a considerable amount of tragedy. One illness that accounts for a significant amount of deaths and remains the number one killer in the industrialized world has been, and continues to be sudden cardiac arrest. Someone subjected to cardiac arrest has approximately a 50% chance of survival after 5 minutes with no CPR/AED. For every minute thereafter that number is reduced by 10% leaving someone suffering from cardiac arrest virtually no chance of survival after 10 minutes.
The challenge for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is their response times. On average, EMS takes 6 minutes to arrive on scene of an emergency. When traffic and other environmental conditions hinder their response delays to EMS’s arrival can be significant. This being said, the layperson and/or workforce must be trained and prepared to “act” in situations where someone, possibly even a loved one is presented with this deadly illness. The community is the answer!