CPR survivor Chase Burright (center) and his family thank Paramedics Jeff Fraser (left) and Dave Sanchez for saving his life in June 2016.
It was a hot day on June 5, 2016, and 15-year-old Chase Burright was attending Valley Bible Church’s annual “Church in the Park” in Mission Park. Recovering from recent surgery, Chase was active and enjoying himself when he suddenly felt ill.
Chase was already losing consciousness when Engine 4 and Rescue 8 arrived on the scene. Quickly, under the direction of SVFD paramedics with the AMR ambulance crew assisting, Chase was examined, prepped, loaded into the ambulance and heading to the hospital when his heart stopped. With three SVFD firefighters on board, each performing CPR in precise two-minute intervals, they headed straight to Valley Hospital’s Emergency Room.
SVFD firefighters and paramedics continued to perform CPR after arriving at the hospital until, 73 minutes later, Chase’s heart started again. The teenager made a full recovery and together with his family, visited each of the six firefighters who saved his life to thank them.
Several weeks ago, those six firefighters were honored by the Spokane County EMS (Emergency Medical Services) & Trauma Care Council “for their efforts during the extended resuscitation of a juvenile patient who collapsed while playing in a local park.” EMS Heroes Awards were given to Paramedic Jeff Fraser, Paramedic Dave Sanchez, Firefighter Trevor Britton, Engineer Nate Brown, Firefighter Paul Haller and Captain Scott Whitaker on May 9 during the 2016 EMS Awards Celebration.
The firefighters were performing “Pit Crew” CPR, adopted by SVFD in 2012. Loosely modeled after NASCAR, “Pit Crew” CPR is an innovative approach to sudden cardiac arrest that emphasizes defined roles, responsibilities and the efficient and planned use of personnel on scene. “Pit Crew” CPR provides the highest ratio of compressions throughout the arrest, in conjunction with other advanced life support procedures. Everyone has a role and they know exactly what to do to ensure a compression rate of 100 per minute is maintained. This ensures blood continues to reach the brain which gives the victim of sudden cardiac arrest the best possible chance of survival.
Every day in the U.S., more than 1,000 people die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The death rate in Spokane County is more than one person per day. At least 50 percent might survive if CPR and an Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) were used within the first few minutes. And yet, according to the American Heart Association, bystander CPR is only performed 32 percent of the time. With every minute between the sudden cardiac arrest and CPR being started, the chance of success decreases by 10 percent.
“CPR has never been easier,” explained Chief Bryan Collins. “The old days of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation are gone. CPR is now hands-only. It is easy to learn, easy to do, and bystanders who perform CPR are protected by Good Samaritan Laws. Learning CPR can save lives.”
Register TODAY to attend a free “Friends and Family CPR” class taught by SVFD firefighters!