WILKES-BARRE — City emergency responders wrapped up National Emergency Medical Services Week with a day of teaching.
Fire and medical staffers were standing by at fire department locations along Ross Street and Washington Avenue on Saturday to explain how they handle emergency situations, what to expect from their crews in an emergency and also teach about new life-saving practices for area residents to use.
This was the department’s first attempt at an EMS Week open house; attendance was light for most of the day. Paramedic Mike Stadulis said the cool temperatures and holiday weekend probably prevented some people from attending.
Stadulis was at the Hollenback Fire Station to teach children and adults a new, more effective resuscitation method called hands-only CPR, using test dummies.
Constant chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth have brought successful CPR statistics in Arizona — the first state to promote the new method — from a 1 percent success rating up to 10 percent, Stadulis said.
Rescuers should first call 911, then interlock their hands, one on top of the other, and push down 2 inches deep on the center of the chest, he said. The heart needs 100 compressions per minute — paramedics pump to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees to complete 100 in one minute — and they have to be strong, he said.
After two minutes, switch with a partner to keep up consistency, Stadulis said.
Every minute that a heart attack victim goes without CPR drops his or her survival chances by 10 percent, said Wilkes-Barre City Health Department Director Ted Kross.
At city fire headquarters on Ross Street, parents got a lesson about Luzerne County’s subscription to www.smart911.com — a website database at which county residents can register personal information for the 911 dispatcher to access in an emergency.
The free service allows county residents, and also those who live in border communities where Luzerne County crews respond, to provide any information that might be useful to emergency responders, said 911 representative Angela Manganello.
When a registered person calls 911, the dispatcher sees the profile and can send children’s pictures, characteristics about the house where crews are headed and medical information to paramedics and firefighters so they are informed by the time they get there, Manganello said.