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CPR Training for Firefighters

April 6th, 2015 Back to Browse Stories

With help from a DMC Foundation grant of $51,000, a program at the Detroit Medical Center is training hundreds of firefighters in adult and infant CPR and basic lifesaving, including the use of an Automated External Defibrillator.

Firefighters often arrive at the scene of a fire, accident or health emergency ahead of the paramedic unit. Many cities address this by equipping all potential first responders with basic life-saving training. Over the years, Detroit’s financial crisis has severely limited the availability of such training for fire department staff.

Cardio-pulmonary arrest can be particularly lethal — the majority of those who suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting do not survive. Delayed or insufficiently trained emergency responders can worsen these odds.

Two CPR instructors at the Detroit Medical Center were moved to take action when they learned that several children were saved from a house fire, only to succumb to injuries that might have been survivable with basic life-saving intervention at the scene.

To date, more than 50 Detroit Medical Center instructors have volunteered over 7,000 hours to train more than 400 firefighters. This grant allows them to expand the program to train more firefighters and begin to retrain firefighters at two year intervals, as recommended by the American Heart Association.