SPOKANE, Wash. —The Spokane Fire Department said a woman with no medical experience helped save her roommate after receiving CPR guidance from a communications specialist over the phone early Saturday morning.
SFD Chief Brian Schaeffer posted on Facebook Sunday morning to retell the experience.
Schaeffer said the department got a phone call from a woman who found her roommate not breathing on the floor of their living room. She called SFD and crews were dispatched to the scene. While on the phone, the communications specialist gave the woman instruction on how to start hands-only CPR.
“I am sending paramedics to help you now. Stay on the line and I will tell you what do next,” said a dispatcher. For the next six minutes a communication specialist gave her quick instructions on how to start CPR.
“Place the heel of your hand on the breast bone in the center of his chest. Put another hand on top of that hand and pump his chest really fast,” said the dispatcher.
Six firefighters and paramedics arrived to the home with equipment to perform a cardiac resuscitation. Chief Schaeffer said he checked in on the crews and was proud of what he saw. He said he was proud of his crews and of the woman for performing CPR with no prior experience.
“It gives that person a chance of survival,” said safety officer Mike Bacon, who was on-scene.
The first three to five minutes after a cardiac arrest are crucial, according to Bacon. “When someone starts CPR right away after they fall down their chance of survival increases greatly.”
The Spokane Fire Department uses a new method of saving a person’s life. They call it Pit Crew CPR. Bacon compared it to a pit crew in NASCAR, where crew members each have their own job and role on the team. “Chest compressions continue throughout the process and I think our save rate has gone up since we have started this,” said Bacon.
The Spokane Fire Department shared on Facebook that the call was a proud moment, “One of our senior members that was there actually shoveled the walkway of the household.” That senior member was Bacon.
“I really want to focus on the paramedics and EMT who are the ones who brought this guy back. I just saw a need and shoveled the sidewalk. It’s just what we do. Anyone else would have done it,” shared Bacon.
Check out the Facebook post from Spokane Fire Department below.
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