By Cecilia Nasmith
Teamwork, action, compassion and perseverance were the clear themes throughout 17 stories shared Wednesday at the fifth annual Survivor Day event hosted by Northumberland County.
Nearly 100 first responders, as well as four bystanders, were recognized with Lightning Bolt Certificates for their role in successfully resuscitating local residents suffering from cardiac arrest in 2018.
Andrew Maloney was one of those saved. He collapsed in his home three weeks before Christmas, after experiencing chest pains off-and-on for a few days. His daughter Deanna had just taken a first-aid and CPR course just days prior to this event and recognized the magnitude of the emergency.
Deanna put her new skills to work, starting chest compressions until first responders arrived. Dispatch personnel, firefighters, and paramedics worked together to deliver the urgent care Andrew required, and he was present Wednesday to offer a personal thanks to those who saved his life.
“This story is an important example of the community links that are so vital to the full chain of care,” Northumberland Paramedics Chief Bill Detlor said in the press release.
“With increasing numbers among the general public trained in CPR, and with the availability of public-access defibrillators and the use of defibrillators by first responders, we have increasing instances of lives saved in circumstances where this was previously unimaginable.
“Survivor Day is a unique opportunity to recognize the dedication and skill of our local first responders, to applaud the bystanders who jump into action in moments of crisis, and to highlight how this type of collaboration is improving health outcomes throughout our community.”
Immediate CPR, in combination with early access to automated defibrillation, may increase the chance of survival for a victim of sudden cardiac arrest by 75% or more, the press release said More than 40 public-access defibrillators are located in sports and high-traffic facilities throughout Northumberland. With increasing numbers of defibrillators in the community and public commitment to CPR training, everyday citizens are increasingly becoming part of the emergency-response system, which increases the likelihood that first responders can save a life.
Trent Hills Mayor Bob Crate addressed the gathering on behalf of county council.
“It is important that we take this time to recognize the vital contributions made by our first responders to a strong and vibrant community,” Crate said,
“Emergency services personnel regularly operate in high-pressure situations, and we heard examples here of the great skill, professionalism and compassion they bring to their work.
“I wanted to extend my sincere congratulations to all Lightning Bolt Certificate recipients—your community thanks you for your service.”