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MFB firefighters keep hearts beating in Melbourne

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15 Jul 2008
The MFB’s Emergency Medical Response (EMR) program is saving more lives than ever within Melbourne.

The EMR program, which was introduced in 2001, has meant that MFB firefighters are educated in first responder medical procedures and are trained to respond to cardiac arrest and non-breathing patients. The program has also seen the MFB become equipped with leading edge emergency medical response equipment.

EMR calls are on the rise in the widespread local areas, with firefighters in Victoria’s MFB regions responding to 2,522 calls since 1 July 2007. This is an increase of 229 EMR calls a year, which is up by around 19 a month. Medical response calls now account for approximately 7% of all calls that the MFB attends.

MFB commander Andrew Zammit said that two minutes have been cut from the response time to cardiac arrest cases in the metropolitan fire district since the program was instigated.

“Access to early defibrillation as well as to immediate CPR through our EMR program is helping to improve survival rates and outcomes for the communities that we serve”.

Commander Zammit said it was pleasing that the EMR program was having a positive impact in the community.

“The role of a firefighter is a varied one. The EMR program demonstrates that we do more than fight fires, and our role also includes engaging local communities as well as identifying potential emergency risks and educating people on fire safety.

“If you ever call 000 for an ambulance, don’t be surprised if a fire truck arrives,” he said.

– ENDS –

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact the Media and Communications Department on (03) 9665 4394 or media@mfb.vic.gov.au

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