LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — February is American Heart Month, and it’s a time that everyone should take note and pay a little more attention to their body and specifically, their heart. · At MEMS, we realize that for us to do be able to do our jobs more effectively, we need to teach and train the general public to recognize when there is an emergency, to contact 911 and begin the life-saving care in the minutes before MEMS arrives on the scene. · Our training team includes full-time and part-time instructors, made up of MEMS paramedics and EMTs. · Most of our training includes “hands on” experience with state of the art equipment in our dedicated training facility. · Many people trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) lack the confidence and skills to help in sudden cardiac arrest. A hands-on skill session every 90 days is ideal for workplace lay responders. · For the past several decades, the emphasis for treatment of sudden cardiac arrest has been on defibrillation and the use of an AED. Attention now is returning to CPR and chest compressions in particular. Defibrillation and CPR are important in reviving a victim of cardiac arrest, but new evidence points to the importance of high-quality of CPR. · In order to perform high-quality CPR, rescuers must: o Push hard (at least 2 in/5 cm depth) o Push fast (at least 100/min) o Minimize interruptions in compressions · Chest compressions provide temporary blood flow to the brain and heart. A combination of high-quality CPR and defibrillation provide the best chances for survival. Importance of Dialing 911: · Even if only one symptom is present for heart attack, cardiac arrest or stroke, dial 911 right away and wait for MEMS to arrive. Minutes matter and MEMS can begin treatment immediately when we arrive. · The care patients receive from MEMS is the same care that would take place in the emergency room and can be adequately provided in the pre-hospital environment. Ambulance equipment may include, but is not limited to: o Oxygen and medications for cardiac and breathing emergencies. o An EKG to monitor and analyze the patient’s heart. o Advanced airway equipment, such as Endotracheal Intubation tubes. o Splints, for fractured limbs as well as extrication devices to move those with head, neck and back injuries. o Special equipment designed to move patients with extreme care. · Additionally, patients arriving by ambulance typically receive faster treatment when we arrive at the emergency room, and we’re also trained to revive patients whose hearts have stopped. · In general, women wait longer to dial 911 (54 hours vs. the average 16 in men, according to the American Heart Association). It’s important to stress the importance for everyone to dial 911 right away.