26 September 2023

CFA volunteers to train and follow ambulances

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Volunteer firefighters from the Country Fire Authority (CFA) are to be trained to provide life-saving first aid and resuscitation in response to Triple Zero (000) calls in support of Ambulance Victoria (AV).

Deputy Chief Officer of CFA, Garry Cook said the new Fire Medical Response (FMR) program would be established in strategic locations across the State that could best complement the AV response.

Deputy Chief Officer Cook (pictured centre right) said the FMR brigades would be dispatched simultaneously with the nearest emergency ambulances to provide life-saving Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), defibrillation and support to paramedics.

“CFA has the largest geographical footprint of any emergency service in Victoria with more than 1,100 volunteer fire stations with more than 50,000 members,” DCO Cook said.

“This puts CFA in a unique position to complement the Ambulance Victoria response and deliver early intervention to cardiac arrests,” he said.

“Our members care deeply for their communities and this program is another way for them to serve and literally save lives in their local area.”

Acting Executive Director in Clinical Operations at AV, Anthony Carlyon said FMR responders would undertake a multi-day training course, developed and delivered by paramedic educators from AV, and be equipped with AV-compatible defibrillators.

“We know that when a person suffers a cardiac arrest, every minute that CPR and defibrillation is delayed, reduces their chance of survival by 10 per cent,” Mr Carlyon said

“There’s no doubt FMR will improve survival rates for people in rural and regional Victoria, and make access to emergency care in a cardiac arrest more equitable for all Victorians,” he said.

“Like the GoodSAM app which alerts bystanders to people nearby in cardiac arrest, FMR will complement Ambulance Victoria’s world-class service and improve patient outcomes.”

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