Chances of surviving heart attack the best in Orland Fire District

Chances of surviving heart attack the best in Orland Fire District
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Chances of surviving heart attack the best in Orland Fire District

By Chief Michael Schofield

Orland Fire Protection District Fire Chief Michael Schofield. Photo courtesy of Steve Neuhaus

Orland Fire Protection District Fire Chief Michael Schofield. Photo courtesy of Steve Neuhaus

Your chances of surviving a heart attack — cardiac arrest — in the region served by the Orland Fire Protection District are better than in most other regions in the country.

This achievement has been recognized nationally and was the focus of a recent Survivors Dinner the district hosted in November. At the Survivors Dinner, we commemorated the outstanding work and professionalism of our paramedics and Emergency Medical Services first responders in saving lives. We also honored survivors whose lives were saved by the efforts of these emergency professionals.

During the dinner, officials from the University of Illinois acknowledged that the district’s 65 percent “save rate” is far higher than the less than 10 percent survival rate that is the average across the United States. Speakers Dr. Pavitra Kotini-Shah, assistant professor at the University of Illinois, and UIC Heart Rescue Community Outreach Coordinator at UIC Daisy Zamora pointed out that the average national survival rate is only 1 out of 10 individuals who have cardiac arrest. Data shows that in the Orland Fire Protection District, our “survival rate” is nearly 7 out of 10.

As a result of that achievement, the Orland Fire Protection District is the recipient of the International Center for Public Safety Excellence and Commission on Fire Accreditation International, the highest honor of International Accreditation Status.

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Lt. Bill Leddin instructs CERT trainees on how to properly use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to make it possible to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required. Photo courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District

Lt. Bill Leddin instructs CERT trainees on how to properly use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to make it possible to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required. Photo courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District

The Orland Fire Protection District is one of only 260 international agencies to achieve this significant rating of International Accredited status with the CFAI and CPSE. It is one of only 69 departments nationally to achieve ISO Class 1 status.

Accreditation affirms that the Orland Fire Protection District’s safety and emergency response duties are performed using industry best practices and at the highest possible professional standards. The OFPD received the International Accreditation award on Aug. 28.

The achievement demonstrates that our district firefighters have a proven commitment not only to provide the highest quality of service to our community but also to save lives. And they are succeeding.

Residents in the Orland Fire Protection District can be assured that they will receive the highest quality emergency safety response and fire protection that is possible.

One reason for this success is the intense training and experience our paramedics and firefighters bring to the community. Another reason for this success is that we dispatch nine paramedics to emergency situations, such as cardiac arrest. That is the highest number of dispatched personnel of any other fire district. Another important factor is the training we provide to citizens. It is proven that when a citizen has CPR and emergency training, they play a significant role in doubling the chances of survival for a cardiac arrest patient.

I want to credit the hard work of the district’s legal team, headed by attorney James J. Roche, and also the work initiated in 2002 by former Orland Chief Robert Buhs and EMS Administrator Lt. Mark Duke. Our fire department continues to receive strong support from our Board of Trustees, including Board President Chris Evoy, and board members John Brudnak, Jayne Schirmacher, James Hickey and Craig Schmidt. Their leadership ensures that our resources are exploited to produce the maximum results for the citizens of our district.

The Orland Fire Protection District hosts many training programs for our residents, too, including the CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) program, programs for seniors through the Senior Advisory Council (SAC), and programs for our young people. Make sure to check out our website at www.OrlandFire.org or “like” our page on Facebook for more details on these and other programs.

Fire Chief Michael Schofield is a career firefighter professional who has led the OFPD as fire chief since February 2016.

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