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Under Care Flight’s leadership, Plumas County is recognized by Nor-Cal EMS for having the highest percentage of field saves in five north-eastern California counties thanks to public bystander CPR and High Performance CPR by local emergency services personnel. Photo submitted

Plumas recognized by Nor-Cal EMS for emergency services success

In a joint announcement from Plumas District Hospital and Care Flight, Plumas County is recognized by Nor-Cal EMS for having the highest percentage of cardiac arrest field saves in Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Sierra, and Trinity counties, thanks to public bystander CPR and “High Performance” CPR by local emergency services personnel.

In a letter from Shawn Pooré, EMS Specialist for Nor-Cal EMS, he states “In just the Quincy area alone, there have been four confirmed field saves out of nine cardiac arrests. This is the highest in all of the Nor-Cal EMS counties.” According to Pooré, the national average survival rate for cardiac arrests is 10.6 percent, and survival with good neurological function is 8.3 percent.

“As you can see by these numbers, statistically the Quincy area is at well above the national average for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates … It gives me great pride to work with, and for, such excellent caregivers,” said Pooré.

Emergency Medical Service is a system of care for victims of sudden and serious illness or injury. The system relies on collaboration, ranging from the accessibility of hospitals and trauma centers, to formally trained first responders and public bystanders capable of reacting to a medical emergency.

“One of the biggest pieces [contributing] to the success that we have had is public bystander CPR,” said Sam Blesse, Care Flight Ground EMS supervisor. “We want people to learn CPR and use it.”

Blesse has championed this effort and galvanized the community around this initiative since Care Flight Ground and Plumas District Hospital launched their partnership in July 2016.

In May 2017, under Care Flight’s leadership, Quincy became the first rural community in California to be designated a HEARTSafe Community by expanding awareness through local media campaigns, hosting free or low-cost CPR classes, and expanding availability and accessibility to life-saving AED (Automated External Defibrillators) machines.

“Quincy is a great community with an emergency response system comprised of multiple agencies that are proactive and cohesive. I truly believe Quincy enjoys a level of service not seen in most communities this size,” said Matt Brown, Care Flight operations manager.

“I would encourage anyone who is able to learn CPR. Bystander CPR is the key to surviving a cardiac arrest; you never know when or where it may happen, and you may make the difference in someone having a good outcome,” said Brown.

Public CPR classes are offered on the second Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. at Plumas District Hospital for $20 per person. Reservations can be made by calling 283-2121. Private classes for organizations or large groups may be scheduled by calling 283-7928.

In addition to public bystander CPR, Care Flight Ground has also taken the lead on offering High Performance CPR training to local first responders. At the time of this article, personnel at PDH, Eastern Plumas Health Care and eight Plumas County Volunteer Fire Departments have received HP-CPR training.

One goal is for all Plumas County first responders to be trained and able to perform HP-CPR. Studies demonstrate that when CPR is performed according to guidelines, the chances for survival from cardiac arrest improve. Exceptionally coordinated teamwork, minimal breaks in compressions, full chest recoil, adequate compression depth and compression rate combine to create HP-CPR. Plumas County was the first in all of Nor-Cal EMS counties to have at least 80 percent of their EMS and fire personnel trained in its use within the first five months of implementation.

These achievements are made possible by local emergency medical services’ commitment to provide high quality patient care through continuing education, timely response, and teamwork.

“We are lucky to have great partners and great working relationships with all of our co-responder agencies, especially Quincy Volunteer Fire Department; they do a great job and have been instrumental in the saves in this community,” Brown said.

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