Salem (Oct. 8, 2015) Salem Fire Chief Mike Niblock met with employees of FedEx on October 8, 2015 at the FedEx Ground facility in Salem, Oregon to recognize their lifesaving actions during a recent medical emergency at their business.
On June 10, employees from the Salem FedEx facility called 9-1-1 to report one of their clients was in cardiac arrest. The client, a 69 year old man, was delivering a presentation to employees when he suddenly collapsed. FedEx employee Lorena Wall called 9-1-1 and also radioed fellow employee Tom Whitehouse for assistance who immediately started CPR with assistance from James Brandon Estes and Tim Dillmon. The FedEx employees continued life-saving CPR while emergency responders from the Salem Fire Department and Rural Metro Ambulance were en route to the cardiac arrest. Emergency responders arrived and continued patient care, transporting the patient to Salem Hospital where he underwent cardiac surgery and was later released.
Chief Niblock met with FedEx employees and presented letters of commendation and Salem Fire challenge coins, acknowledging their life-saving actions and teamwork. Chief Niblock also recognized FedEx for their demonstrated commitment to community safety by providing training for their employees in CPR. Niblock highlighted the employee’s actions as a part of the chain of survival in a cardiac emergency. “Immediate recognition of the emergency, coupled with quick 9-1-1 notification, early CPR, and early defibrillation, are foundational in the survival of cardiac arrest,” said Chief Niblock.
The life saving actions taken by FedEx employees falls in line with the strategic goals of the recently formed Salem Fire Foundation, a new nonprofit group dedicated to assisting the Salem Fire Department achieve its core mission of saving lives. The Salem Fire Foundation provides assistance by funding community outreach programs in CPR and AED training. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops abruptly without warning. After each minute that passes in such an event, the victim’s chance of survival decreases by 10 percent. “Sudden cardiac arrest accounts for 383,000 deaths in America each year,” Niblock said.
In 2014, the city of Salem experienced a 41.2 percent save rate for sudden cardiac arrest. The fire department and foundation’s future goal is to see that save rate rise to 65 percent. “I know this community has the right mix of people to achieve the highest save rate in the nation,” Niblock said. “We have a lot of work to do to achieve this goal, but I know it’s possible.”
The Salem Fire Foundation has an online site where people can learn more about saving lives and supporting the goal of increased survivability of sudden cardiac arrest. Visit https://salemfirefoundation.org/ for more information.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for an estimated 383,000 deaths each year or approximately 1,000 deaths per day. The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. However, only about one quarter of SCA victims receive bystander CPR and even fewer receive a potentially lifesaving therapeutic shock from a public access AED. Improving bystander CPR rates and access to AEDs is critical to survival.
The Salem Fire Department serves a population of 188,000 residents, responding to nearly 20,000 calls to 9-1-1 each year, including approximately 90 sudden cardiac arrests. The department launched the PulsePoint smartphone application in 2014 to provide real time lifesaving information and AED locations throughout the community. More information related to PulsePoint can be found at Salem Fire’s website.