Hope Township Fire Department provides emergency medical services to the residents and visitors of the township. We provide Basic Life Support by trained professionals in medical emergencies at township residences or in conjunction with any other emergency incident needing qualified medical help.
Area of great concern: Drowning
Hope Township has been blessed with an abundance of natural water sources, ponds, creeks and a river flow within its boundaries. But water can also lead to dangerous emergency situations. Drowning accidents are the leading cause of injury/death among children under five. A temporary lapse in supervision is a common factor in most drownings and near-drawnings. Child drowning can happen in a matter of seconds; just about the time it takes to answer a phone.
There is often “no splashing” to warn of trouble. Children can drown in small quantities of water and are at risk in their own homes; from wading pools, bathtubs, buckets, diaper pails, large pots and even toilets. While we normally associate child drowning with swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, ponds, lakes or rivers; it is the smaller amounts of contained water that offer the same amount of danger.
- A swimming pool is 14 times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child age 4 or younger.
- Each year, approximately 1,500 children ages 14 or under drown
- More than 750 are preschoolers (ages 0-4)
- It’s estimated 5,000 children ages 14 or younger are hospitalized due to near-drowning yearly
- Of the children surviving near-drowning, 5-20 percent suffers severe or permanent disability
- About 50% of preschooler drownings occur in residential swimming pools
- Yearly 2,000 preschooler near-drownings occur in residential pools.
- Of preschooler pool drownings, 65% occur in the child’s home & 33% at the homes of friends, neighbors or relatives (please consider any body of (please consider any body of water on your Hope property as a pool, preschoolers will) preschoolers will)
- Yearly, 350 drownings happen in bathtubs
- Approximately 40 children drown in five-gallon buckets
- Of all preschoolers who drown, 70% are under the care of one or both parents at the time
- Of all preschoolers who drown, 75% are missing from sight for 5 minutes or less
- Two-thirds of all drownings happen between May and August, with 40% occurring on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Drownings are preventable, do a monthly tour of your property to eliminate potential hazards and do not let children play or swim in waters unsupervised.
Hope Township Fire Department has recently become an Authorized Providers Site through the American Red Cross. We will soon be offering classes on First Aid, CPR and use of an AED for anyone to provide life saving measures before fire and/or EMS arrives. If “YOU” can intervene, you become part of a team effort to save someone’s life!
Just what is CPR?
It is an artificial method of circulating blood and oxygen through a body and attempting to keep the brain and organs alive. CPR really does work. If you begin within 4 minutes of the victim’s heart stopping, the survival rate is 43 percent. But if no life saving measures begins until 4-8 minutes, the survival rate can drop to as little as 10 percent.
Why learn CPR?
Here’s what we do know! One in seven people will have the opportunity to use CPR in their lifetime. But which one of the seven people: ninety percent of the time, CPR will begin with a family member or close friend. Annually, 650,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest in this country. Unfortunately, more than 350,000 die before reaching the hospital. Remember this; if the brain goes four to six minutes without oxygen, brain damage/brain death begins.
Who is at risk?
Here are things we cannot change:
- Heredity – we cannot change our genetic makeup
- Sex – women have a slightly lower incident of heart attack
- Race – Blacks have a 45% greater chance of high blood pressure
- Age – risks increase with ages, however, one in four deaths occur under age 65
Things we can change:
- Smoking – 1 pack a day increases heart attack rate 2 times over a nonsmoker and stroke rate 5 times over a nonsmoker
- Hypertension – (high blood pressure) is a major risk factor but with no specific symptoms. One in three adults or 65 million Americans have some form of high blood pressure, usually partially controlled by diet, exercise or medication or a combination of the three.
- Diet – high fat, high cholesterol foods cause “plaque” to collect on artery walls and a constriction of blood flow
- Obesity – obese middle aged men have three times greater risk of heart attack
- Lack of exercise – regular aerobics exercise at least “three” times a week
- Stress – Type A personality, with a sense of urgency, drive and competitiveness, has a greater risk
Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attack
- Chest pain – people experience different types; uncomfortable pressure, tightness, feeling of indigestion, heavy squeezing (like a weight on the chest), can radiate to left arm, neck, back
- Nausea/Vomiting Shortness of breath
- Pale, sweaty cold skin
- May have no signs or symptoms (silent Myocardial infarction)
- Unknown signs – “it just doesn’t feel right!”
Actions for Survival
- Just accept it “is” happening – recognize the signals for what they are
- Stop activity, rest – don’t increase the workload on the heart
- If the pain lasts for more than 2-5 minutes, call for help – pain can come and go (wave like)
- People will often deny it’s the heart – don’t bet your/their life on what it “might” be
- Be prepared to do CPR if they collapse, call 9-1-1, we’re coming as fast and safely as possible
Reasons you can stop!
- They begin showing signs of life – skin color improves, chest rises and falls, they may even wake up
- Help has arrived, don’t stop until we are ready to relieve you
- You compress the chest until you are just too exhausted to continue
- Something has caused where you are giving CPR to become dangerous – fire, fumes, weaken structures, etc.
Good Samaritan Act – Article 4 ARS.#32
You may have some reservations about performing CPR on someone who isn’t a family member. You can be assured that you will not be held liable for your actions. Here is what the Good Samaritan Act has to say:
Health care providers and other persons administering emergency aid are not liable. Any health care provider licensed or certified to practice as such in this state or elsewhere or any other person who renders emergency care at a public gathering or at a scene of an emergency occurrence gratuitously and in good faith, shall not be liable for any civil or other damages as the result of any act or omission by which person rendering the emergency care, or as the result of any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the injured persons, unless such person, while rendering such care, is guilty of gross negligence.
Simply stated, if you choose to perform care in an emergency situation; as long as you perform that care in good faith and at a level you were trained or instructed, you cannot be held liable for your actions. This act protects individuals and health care providers who willingly want to provide the emergency care that is needed in those incidents where a life hangs in the balance.
Much like the members of the Hope Township Fire Department, anyone who willingly renders care can consider themselves a key player in the chain of survival. We know what it takes to step forward and be accountable during an emergency situation. Thanks to any and all who make the effort to make a difference in someone’s life.