Community Lifesavers

To date in 2017 the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) listed San Juan County in the top tier of cardiac arrest save rates, well above the national average at 50%.

This year San Juan Emergency Medical Services’ Outreach and Education Program has taught 708 individuals in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/Automated External Defibrillation (CPR/AED). Numbers steadily grow as employers, schools and even outlying neighborhood communities are getting educated not only in CPR but purchasing and placing AEDs in an easily accessed public locations. The Cape of San Juan is one such neighborhood.

San Juan EMS has made it their goal to have an AED unit within a few minutes of every resident of our EMS District. Most of these AEDs are located in EMT vehicles, county ambulances, deputy vehicles, community buildings, resorts and homes of citizens willing to respond to their neighbors. The AED ratio is about 1 AED to every 40 residents in our district which totals around 300 AEDs.

The key to cardiac arrest survival and positive outcome, referred to as the “Chain of Survival”, begins with recognition and the call for help (911). Compressions, AED placement and use are the next vital steps. This is exactly what happened on July 29th at Roche Harbor Resort. Natalie Chevalier took the CPR/AED class just two weeks before she witnessed a gentleman collapse from a heart attack. 911 was called and she immediately began CPR while retired EMT/ Town Fire Assistant Chief Frank Chaffee retrieved one of the 6 AEDs located at the resort. County dispatchers also paged available law and fire for additional personnel to aid with the resuscitation.

The patient had an outstanding outcome thanks to a community committed to preparedness. San Juan EMS would like to thank all who were involved in these heroics and everyone who has committed time to learning CPR and AED use. A job magnificently done!

For more information on CPR/AED, First Aid and other prevention classes please go to – Education and Prevention or call Lainey Volk at 360-378-5152 ext 3

Pictured from Left to Right are Brent Snow, Frank Chaffee, Natalie Chevalier and Lainey Volk