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First responders from 15 agencies participate in Neb. resuscitation training

Lincoln Fire & Rescue hosted a Resuscitation Academy workshop for cardiac arrest training

By Alex Vargas
Lincoln Journal Star

LINCOLN, Neb. — Lincoln Fire and Rescue on Monday hosted a Resuscitation Academy for the second year to teach other agencies the practices and knowledge that make LFR nationally recognized for its cardiac responses.

Lincoln was declared a " Lighthouse Community " by the Seattle-based Resuscitation Academy. It is one of 10 communities in the United States and the only one in the Midwest to receive that designation.

“Lighthouse Communities” are meant to serve as models for the area regarding resuscitation. When LFR responds to non-traumatic cardiac arrests, the chance of survival is double the national average, according to LFR spokesperson MJ Lierman.

Monday’s gathering included 15 different agencies and the American Heart Association, LFR Battalion Chief Aaron Pospisil said.

He said the first year hosting the event was a learning opportunity for him, but he received a lot of positive feedback and made improvements to the training this year.

The 26 individuals who attended were from North Platte, Sioux City, Beatrice, Seward County and elsewhere.

“Our area of emphasis is Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa, but the invite is open to anyone,” Pospisil said.

The academy is free of charge to the agencies attending. It focuses on improving the nation’s survival rate when dealing with cardiac episodes.

The agencies attending are also different links in what is known as the “Chain of Survival.” This includes dispatchers, first responders and even doctors.

The director of Saunders Counties 911 Center, Amy Meier, participated Monday in a two-minute training exercise meant to practice the timing and force needed to perform CPR.

"(Dispatchers) are a critical part of the Chain of Survival,” Meier said, slightly out of breath. “We are the first professional people those calling 911 come in contact with and give them life-saving advice and instructions.”

The Lincoln / Lancaster County Emergency Communication Center dispatchers are CPR-certified, as are the dispatchers from Saunders County , which Meier implemented earlier in her tenure.

According to the National Institute of Health, delaying CPR after cardiac arrest results in more fatalities. For every minute without CPR, survival from cardiac arrest decreases by 7% to 10%.

“Our EMS response times can vary from two minutes to 10 minutes, sometimes longer, depending on the weather,” Meier said. “We are now equipped to provide essential instructions over the phone.”

In January, former Husker football player Demoine Adams woke up to tightness in his chest and lightheadedness. Then he fainted, making a loud noise that awoke his sleeping wife, Fara Adams.

Fara Adams called 911, and the dispatcher provided instructions on how to provide CPR before first responders arrived.

His wife began compressions, and Demoine Adams became responsive minutes before emergency services showed up. Her actions potentially saved his life.

“We are trying to be a resource and a mentor to others to take on the same journey we did (in becoming a Lighthouse Community ),” Pospisil said.

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