They run towards burning buildings when the rest of us are running to safety, and so it is no surprise that CFA firefighters in Wangaratta and Wodonga are embracing a challenge that could see them save even more lives.
After working with Ambulance Victoria to complete Emergency Medical Response training, CFA firefighters can now be officially called upon to assist with potential cardiac arrest patients.
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade has operated in a similar manner for nearly 20 years, while the CFA has been conducting trials for across the last 10 years.
“This is another string in the firefighters’ bow,” CFA operations manager Stewart Kreltszheim said.
“They’re a highly skilled workforce, and this is another skill they bring to save lives and property in our community.
“Firefighters have always been involved in this sort of thing at motor vehicle accidents and house fires, so the training gives them an additional skillset to add to the work of Ambulance Victoria.”
The training means CFA officers can attend cardiac arrest calls when ambulance officers are unable to.
When possible, ambulance officers will also attend any scene firefighters arrive at to offer further assistance.
“We just want to get the message across that you might see a fire truck and firefighters coming in at your time of need,” Mr Kreltszheim said.
“They’re going to be there to provide life-saving care – don’t turn them away, expect them to come in and provide support to that patient.”
The EMR training expands on existing CPR and first-aid training undertaken by all firefighters.
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