Our local emergency medical personnel respond to more than 14,000 emergencies each year.

The county is improving its response time, thanks to new technology, a willingness to try new procedures, and a dedicated staff. They shaved several seconds off their 2018 times this past year and, as Mayor Allen Foster said, they’re not done. He and Supervisor Chris Miller will have more ideas to put forth in coming months regarding improved EMS service countywide.

But no matter how quickly emergency medical personnel or first responders arrive on the scene, they won’t be there in those critical first few minutes.

In those situations, where each second without intervention means a lower chance of survival, the best person to help a patient is you.

If you are with someone experiencing a medical emergency, you can save their life. 

You can call 9-1-1 and report the emergency. You can tell them what you observe from the patient. You can begin CPR or try to stop bleeding or help a person who is choking.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in their Until Help Arrives fact sheet, says the first care someone gets requires no special skills, but it can be the difference between life and death. 

FEMA offers online training that covers basic things people can do to help others in an emergency:

•Call 9-1-1

•Protect the injured from harm

•Stop bleeding

•Position the injured so they can breathe

•Provide comfort 

Other training can ensure you know how to give effective chest compressions for CPR. The 9-1-1 dispatcher can also walk you through the process. When CPR is started in the first four minutes, the patient has a much better chance or survival. 

While we thank our leaders for continuing to work on improving the emergency medical services available in this county, we must also do our part to help our families, neighbors and even strangers.

Get the training so you can be ready to act when needed. You can learn more at ready.gov/until-help-arrives.

—Crossville Chronicle

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