Making citizens part of the response system

Does your department provide citizen CPR?

Unfortunately, in the current fiscal environment, many fire departments have been forced to cut back on these potentially lifesaving programs, along with others.

While there is no question that a timely response from well-trained and certified basic/advanced life support providers is critical for successful patient outcomes after cardiac arrest events, think about the benefit of having more CPR-trained citizens throughout our communities; to complement, not replace, our volunteer and career first responders.

Particularly during these difficult economic times, it's important that we take a holistic approach to providing essential fire and emergency services. In many cases this can include making more of our citizens part of the overall fire-EMS response system.

About the author

With more than two decades in the field, Chief Adam K. Thiel — FireRescue1's editorial advisor — is an active fire chief in the National Capital Region and a former state fire director for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chief Thiel's operational experience includes serving with distinction in four states as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, hazardous materials team leader, paramedic, technical rescuer, structural/wildland firefighter and rescue diver. He also directly participated in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tropical Storm Gaston and Hurricane Isabel.

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