Township to send three to resuscitation academy in Seattle
The Plain Township Fire Department in March will send three paramedics to a resuscitation academy in Seattle, which could help improve survival rates of patients suffering cardiac arrest, according to Assistant Fire Chief Jack Rupp.
"Seattle has an early paramedic program with unusually high survival rates," Rupp said.
He said 50 percent of people in cardiac arrest survived when attended to by Seattle paramedics. Locally, probably less than 10 percent survive, Rupp said.
Comparatively, Rupp said, Los Angeles has a 7-percent survival rate and Chicago has a 3-percent survival rate.
"By and large, Seattle is far superior to anyone else," Rupp said. "So they looked at how they achieved that."
The result is the resuscitation academy, sponsored by the Medic One Foundation. Rupp said the academy teaches paramedics to study local survival rates and evaluate performance, identifying areas for improvement. The paramedics then create a plan to improve survival rates, which can include changes to citizens' cardiopulmonary resuscitation programs and coordination with local hospitals.
Rupp said the department will send Capt. Joe Brown, its emergency medical service coordinator; Paul Zeeb, a Mount Carmel East Hospital emergency room physician who is the department's medical director; and a third paramedic yet to be named.
Fire Chief John Hoovler said the department will receive a $2,150 grant from the New Albany Community Foundation to send the paramedics to the resuscitation academy. It requires matching funds from the township, which will have to be appropriated in 2013, Rupp said.
Hoovler also reported to trustees Aug. 1 that the department needs a smaller emergency vehicle to use at events and different locations throughout the city where the medic unit can be cumbersome.
Hoovler said an off-road utility vehicle could "enhance our abilities and quicken our response during events such as the New Albany Classic (Invitational Grand Prix and Family Day), golf events and walking/running/bicycling races."
In his report to trustees, Hoovler wrote that sometimes the department uses bicycle medics at events. He said it is more difficult to carry necessary equipment on a bicycle.
Township Administrator Ben Collins said a smaller off-road emergency vehicle, such as a 4x4, could carry more equipment and can "go where medic (units) cannot."
Hoovler said the vehicle could also be used at places as The Golf Club in New Albany, which prefers not to have the full-size medic unit drive on its course. Hoovler said he asked The Golf Club for help in purchasing such a vehicle, and but the club could not provide financial support at this time.
Trustee David Ferguson asked what an off-road emergency vehicle would cost. Hoovler said it would be around $15,000.
Trustee Dave Olmstead said since the vehicle could be used at many events, the township should pursue other donors to help defray the cost.