MESA, Ariz. (Feb. 12, 2013) – Rural/Metro Corporation and Save Hearts in Arizona Registry & Education program (SHARE), celebrated Valentine’s Week with a special tribute today to local survivors of sudden cardiac arrest and their prehospital rescue teams.
“Rural/Metro and its operating companies in Arizona – Southwest Ambulance, PMT Ambulance and Rural/Metro Fire Department – are deeply committed to the state’s efforts to improve patient outcomes through exceptional clinical care,” said Michael P. DiMino, President & Chief Executive Officer of Rural/Metro Corporation. “Our goal is to increase sudden cardiac arrest survival by supporting programs such as SHARE and implementing the clinical initiatives that made it possible for our honorees to spend another Valentine’s Day with the people they love.”
More than 7,600 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest in Arizona every year. Thanks to the quick actions of bystanders, prehospital emergency dispatchers and rescuers, and continuous public education efforts, patient outcomes and survival rates in the state are three times better now than in 2004 when the state began to collect data specific to these cases.
“Bystander CPR is a simple, life-saving intervention that everyone should be able and willing to perform,” said Dr. Bentley Bobrow, Medical Director, Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of EMS & Trauma System. “Our goal is to create a culture in which bystanders will act without hesitation when they see someone suddenly collapse. Everyone is capable of saving a life using hands-only CPR.”
Rural/Metro and SHARE advocates work throughout the year and especially during National Heart Month to raise awareness that bystander CPR, hands-only CPR training and innovative medical protocols performed by emergency medical system rescuers can save lives.
Among the honorees presented with serialized challenge coins were the following survivors and their rescue teams from municipal fire departments through the Valley, Southwest Ambulance, PMT Ambulance and AirEvac Services:
- Ed Blanchard, 67, Retired Engineer, Mesa
- Matt Collins, 41, SRP Transmission Maintenance Lineman, Goodyear
- Michael Patten, 37, Firefighter/Paramedic-Glendale Fire Department
- Richard Paxton, 61, Retired Air Force, Peoria
- Ron Porter, 70, Retired History Teacher, Mesa
Tuesday’s event also included a special ceremony honoring Arizona EMS visionary Bob Ramsey, Chairman and CEO of StarWest Associates and founder of Southwest Ambulance and PMT Ambulance, with the “Innovator in EMS Award.” Mr. Ramsey and the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation are significant supporters of public EMS systems in Arizona and the state’s SHARE program, providing funding to put more than 150 life-saving AEDs into the hands of the public.
Guests also had the opportunity to receive hands-only CPR training conducted by Dr. Bobrow, Medical Director, ADHS Bureau of EMS & Trauma System.
Rural/Metro Corporation is a leading national provider of emergency and non-emergency ambulance services and private fire protection services in 21 states and nearly 700 communities throughout the United States. In Arizona, the Company operates Southwest Ambulance, PMT Ambulance and Rural/Metro Fire Department, with more than 2,000 employees serving the emergency service needs of customers throughout Maricopa, Pinal, Pima and Yuma counties. For more information, visit www.ruralmetro.com.
SHARE – Save Hearts in Arizona Registry & Education – promotes a comprehensive, standardized system of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest care throughout Arizona, encompassing all links in the chain of survival, including bystander response, emergency medical dispatcher CPR instruction, EMS provider resuscitation, and standardized care at hospitals. SHARE also seeks to support survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest by providing them with helpful resources. For more information, visit www.azshare.gov.