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BEND, OR -- A local partnership between emergency agencies is now an example of how collaboration can save lives. Bend Fire EMS Training Officer Petar Hossick says he started talking with Deschutes County 911 Training Coordinator Megan Craig in 2013, in an effort to improve the outcome of cardiac calls, "What we’ve learned from the science is that it’s so important that 911 is super aggressive with giving telephone CPR instructions."


Before that, he says he hadn’t been in Deschutes County’s dispatch center in 15 years. Now, he says he meets with dispatchers and trainers, regularly, "When I realized how important to the early links of survival: early identification of cardiac arrest, early CPR on the telephone, getting an AED if one was available – those are kind of the first three links in the chain of survival; and dispatch controls all of those."

Hossick says they improved cardiac arrest survival rates in Bend by training dispatchers to switch from asking a caller whether they’re willing to perform CPR, to saying, “I’m going to tell you how to do CPR." He tells KBND News, "The other thing was being really, really fast at this. So, asking just a couple of questions to determine are they conscious, are they breathing normally? If the answer to those two questions turns out to be ‘no,’ then we’re going to CPR instructions."

On Wednesday, Hossick and Craig will take part in a national webinar, "The feds are using us as a case study for how this can be done and the results you can get from it," says Hossick. "For us, it seems like, ‘wow; we’ve been doing this for a long time.’ But, across the nation, it’s still kind of new stuff. And, if our little piece of our story can help other agencies get good at this, that’s our goal."

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