The Ontario Professional Firefighters Association (OPFFA) today launched the Send Firefighters Campaign to inform the public and local decision-makers across Ontario, about the benefits of dispatching professional firefighters to all serious medical emergencies.
“Ontario’s firefighters believe patients in serious medical emergencies deserve care as quickly as possible,” said Fred LeBlanc, President of the OPFFA. “In an emergency situation, every second counts.”
As expert first responders trained in advanced first-aid, professional firefighters dramatically improve patient care and survival rates. In fact, saving a patient’s life depends on how quickly a trained emergency responder can get to them. Expert studies have shown delays in treatment carry a heavy price:
• In Ontario, approximately 17,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest – the most time-sensitive medical emergency. For these patients, the likelihood they can be resuscitated drops by up to 10% with every passing minute.
• The survival rate for cardiac arrest victims almost doubles when professional firefighters arrive at the scene and provide CPR.
• When professional firefighters are there to assist paramedics at the scene of a traumatic injury, all the steps required to get the patient stabilized and transported to hospital can be completed up to 3.4 minutes faster.
In serious medical emergencies where seconds count, professional firefighters are already positioned across our community to arrive on the scene of a medical emergency quickly – often firefighters are the first to arrive on scene. Furthermore, dispatching existing professional firefighters already on-call carries no additional cost to taxpayers.
The Send Firefighters Campaign is being launched as municipalities across Ontario begin their budget review process. The campaign will include outdoor advertising, radio spots, and literature distribution at key events over the course of the next month.