You’re at the mall and someone suddenly collapses. It’s unclear, but it might be a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), where the heart stops abruptly. What do you do? Are we, in Salem, ready to save a life? The newly-formed Salem Fire Foundation (SFF) hopes so. With the help of the PulsePoint app and increased access to Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) and CPR training the chances that someone you love could survive a SCA increase significantly.
SCA’s kill more than 383,000 Americans each year. For every minute that elapses, the chance of survival diminishes by 10 percent. Salem currently has a save rate of 41.2percent – SFF wants to see that number climb above 65 percent.
Started just last year, the Foundation was conceived by Salem Fire Chief, Mike Niblock, to do three things in particular. One is to raise funds so that AED’s (Automatic External Defibrillators) can be bought and placed in police cars and strategic areas around the city. Secondly, bring more “hands only” CPR and AED use classes to the public so that they can be citizen “first responders.” The third item is to have these trained people download and use the Pulse Point App, which will notify them of emergency calls.
The organization quickly built a strong board including Honorary Fire Chief, Gerry Frank, Bud Pierce, MD, Danny Bisgaard, Alex Rhoten, Ray Sagner, Sue Moore and Chief Niblock. The advisory board composed of Alison Kelley, Jennifer Pratt, Darrin George, Skip Miller, Janet Taylor, Kirk Walker, MD and Terri Walker will provide guidance and consultation. Mary Louise VanNatta and her firm Spire Management has volunteered to serve as the organizational headquarters.
Niblock says, “Salem is a community where our citizens rise to the occasion to help when needed. Our hope, is to provide access to the tools and training so that everyone, who could be saved with early intervention from an AED, and CPR will be restored to full health.” When seconds count, whose life will you save today?
To learn more or to make a donation please contact Salem Fire Foundation, P.O. Box 2920, Salem, OR 97308-2920, 503-371-7457, salemfirefoundation.org. Download the PulsePoint app at www.pulsepoint.org.
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About the Salem Fire Foundation: The Salem Fire Foundation (SFF) is a private, nonprofit 501(c) 3 dedicated to assisting the Salem Fire Department achieve its core mission of saving lives through the funding of the following programs: Community Outreach and Engagement in CPR and AED Training, Employee Recognition and Development, Fire Prevention and Risk Awareness, Service Enhancements, Assistance for Injured Firefighters and their Families, and Special Projects.