The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

May 2, 2013

New fire equipment has Endy better prepared

By Jason O'Boyd, Staff Writer
CNHI News Service

Thursday, May 2, 2012 — Everyone is looking to gain an edge. It is seen in athletes looking to increase their performances all the way down to everyday people trying to budget their time wisely.

The same is always true for fire and rescue personnel.

Every edge they gain can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. A recent purchase by Endy Volunteer Fire Department will hopefully give the people who work there an edge, too.

The fire department recently purchased six airway management bags that have been distributed to its volunteer personnel throughout the community. The hope is those bags will give the department an edge when it comes to responding to emergency calls.

The total cost of the bags is $3,000 and was taken out of the general fund of Endy Fire Department, said Dean Scott, who has worked with the department for 15 years. Each bag includes an airway management kit, a blood sugar meter, a nasal airway kit, burn sheet, bandages and an anti-poison kit.

It’s all the tools a volunteer needs to give them an edge when minutes count.

“During the day, we do have a daytime person here Monday through Friday. If you get sick during the day, you are in good shape. But if it’s late at night or during the weekends, you’ve got to depend on volunteers to get out of bed at 2 o’clock to help you,” Scott said.

“They say in a cardiac arrest, you start to lose brain cells in 6-8 minutes. It’s almost impossible for any of us to get to the station and get to where we need to go in 6-8 minutes. So with this equipment, hopefully we can get there in just a few minutes and start administrating life-saving techniques as fast as we can with what we’ve got.

“With the King (Systems), you get that down in them then you put the BVM (Bag Valve Mask) on top then you start getting some air and start doing chest compressions … that may be enough to keep them going until you get an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) there where you can shock them and try to bring them alive.”

Scott said emergency management has made a push across not only the state but the country, too, in an effort to create more awareness about using these techniques to aid those in need.

In most cases in Stanly County, things such as car accidents don’t always happen. But incidents where people suffer cardiac or respiratory arrests are quite common. Scott said Endy VFD has already dealt with at least five such cases this year.

“With these bags, we don’t have to rely on the medic unit as much or our squad here at the station to respond. We gave bags to members spread out throughout the community, so we should have somebody pretty close with a bag should a tragedy happen such as a cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, some kind of allergic reaction, especially in the summertime,” Scott said.

“We’ve got all the stuff we need to take care of that right there on the spot. We should be able to get somebody right there in five or six minutes.”

Scott said the fire department believes the bags are a strong addition to the equipment they already have and will quickly serve a purpose.

“We thought that by buying these bags, we could show the people in the community that we were proactive as far as trying to get stuff to the people and that we are more than just a volunteer fire department,” Scott said.

“Our objective is to save lives and evidently if someone calls 911, they are in trouble. Either them or someone they know is in trouble. So hopefully we can get there as fast as we can with the right equipment, and we are sure this equipment is going to lead to more accurate and faster responses.”

To submit story ideas, contact Jason O. Boyd at (704) 982-2121 ext. 34 or email at jason@stanlynew spress. com.