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Fire Rescue: The Chain of Survival

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In cases of out of hospital cardiac arrest, statistics have proven that early Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation are key factors in patient survival. This process and the continuation of care is known as the Chain of Survival. Recently, this Chain of Survival was proven true during an emergency incident which occurred on St. Augustine Beach.

On June 15, 2013, TC and Eileen Carr were enjoying a day at the beach at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine Beach with their son Dylan . TC and Dylan were out in the ocean waters bodysurfing and swimming in the waves. At some point, TC was overtaken by a wave, slammed into the bottom and did not resurface. Dylan immediately recognized a problem, held onto his father and signaled the lifeguard for assistance.

St. Johns County Fire Rescue Lifeguard Derek Droege was manning a tower at Anastasia State Park during this time , saw Dylan waiving and immediately communicated to Fire Rescue Communications a rescue was in progress. Droege reached Mr. Carr and Dylan in less than 15 seconds, recognized Mr. Carr was unresponsive and began carrying him back to shore. Moments later, Lifeguard Josh Clingerman arrived and assisted in transporting Mr. Carr to dry land. Once on the beach, Marine Rescue Zone Supervisor Eric Jones assessed Mr. Carr and declared he was unresponsive, not breathing and without a pulse. Jones called a cardiac arrest and CPR was initiated including the placement of an AED. Additional personnel arrived and assisted in treatment and packaging, ultimately removing Mr. Carr from the beach to rendezvous with St. Augustine Fire Department and St. Johns County Fire Rescue paramedics.

Advance Life Support (ALS) care was immediately initiated by St. Johns County Fire Rescue paramedics assigned to Rescue 7. Mr. Carr had regained a pulse and was breathing on his own while on the beach. He was transported to Flagler Hospital where medical personnel were prepared and waiting to continue the lifesaving care Mr. Carr needed.

On June 18th 2013, all of the first responders involved in the emergency call had the opportunity to re-unite with Mr. Carr and his family at Flagler Hospital. Mr. Carr was in good spirits and was very grateful for the rapid response as well as the high level of medical care he received during his event. Mr. Carr summed it up rather simply stating; “You guys saved my life…thank you”. With all of the rescuers packed into the hospital room in addition to the Carr family, Mr. Carr surprised us all when he pulled out his harmonica and played us short tune. With his skills as a musician, it was his own special way of saying thank you

The visit was a great opportunity for first responders to see a positive outcome obtained through coordinated care and response, essentially keeping the Chain of Survival intact. From the initial emergency to the transfer of care to emergency physicians at the hospital, everyone worked together that day to achieve the best possible outcome for the patient. Visiting with Mr. Carr and his family was an awesome experience that makes St. Johns County Fire Rescue very proud of our personnel and the advanced medical care that our responders deliver.

SJCFR is a certified American Heart Association Training Center, offering this lifesaving training to the citizens of St. Johns County. Our goal is to provide the community with the training, confidence and skills needed to act quickly and effectively in the midst of an emergency such as cardiac arrest. CPR works—just ask TC Carr!

If you are interested in becoming CPR/AED certified, please check out our AHA information page on the St. Johns County website. You can access it directly at the link below.

 http://www.sjcfl.us/FireRescue/CPR.aspx

 

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