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‘Keep your heads on a swivel’

Chris and Kelly tackle public access defibrillation and EMT safety


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In this episode, Chris and Kelly discuss the recent spotlight on public access defibrillation after high profile cardiac arrests in young athletes, as well as the growing danger of assaults in the field for EMTs.

Together, they discuss:

  • Bronny James, USC freshman and son of Lakers star LeBron James, was resuscitated after a cardiac arrest at USC basketball workout
  • Julia Taylor Fatum, a N.Y. EMT, was stabbed and nearly killed by a patient in her ambulance
  • The death of Lt. Alison Russo-Elling, who was stabbed multiple times
  • The collapse of Damar Hamlin and the world watching his on-field resuscitation
  • Has EMS taken a step backwards in training the public?
  • How violence against providers is becoming a retention issue

Memorable quotes

“Children and athletes and young adults can go into cardiac arrest, and I would wager that the only thing that saved Bronny James’s life is that second link in the AHA chain of survival, which is prompt, early access to defibrillation, and it’s a shame that public access to defibrillation in so many places is still a pipe dream or poorly implemented such that it’s not really public access.” — Kelly Grayson

“Public access to defibrillation means just that: public access to defibrillation. It’s not a special thing for special people to use. The whole point of public access to defibrillation is that it can be readily accessed by anyone.” — Kelly Grayson

“As an EMS leader … that has to be first and foremost concern of mine: to make sure that the workforce goes home at the end of their shift. And I’m losing faith in that we are keeping our providers safe.” — Chris Cebollero

“We’ve been on calls that have been very benign, that have escalated verbally, that have escalated behaviorally.” — Kelly Grayson

“Keep your heads on a swivel. Always be alert, always have your eye on your patient.” — Kelly Grayson

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