Bendigo CFA firefighters help paramedics provide more emergency medical care

Picture: JESSICA SHAPIRO
Picture: JESSICA SHAPIRO

Bendigo CFA firefighters are now providing medical help in emergencies under an initiative intended to increase the availability of potentially life-saving assistance.

The Emergency Medical Response program is an initiative between Ambulance Victoria and the CFA, which aims to improve the chances of survival of those who suffer cardiac arrest.

Under the program, firefighters and paramedics are dispatched at the same time to medical emergencies.

If the firefighters arrive first, they will provide care until the paramedics arrive.

“If a firefighter arrives at your door in the event of a life-threatening medical emergency do not turn them away. Every second counts in emergencies,” CFA district two operations manager Bill Johnstone said.

Bendigo firefighters began responding to EMR call-outs yesterday, joining 27 other brigades delivering the initiative.

Ambulance Victoria chief executive officer Tony Walker said the program was the result of a successful pilot and was well-established at the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

In case of a suspected cardiac arrest, call triple zero and follow the operator’s CPR instructions.