The Connecticut Dept of Public Health has renewed the Town of Greenwich HEARTSafe Community designation – a distinction it has held since 2006.
In his letter of notification, Connecticut Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Raul Pino said, “This three-year re designation, effective June 11, 2018, recognizes your community’s continued commitment to provide improved cardiac response and care to the residents of your community utilizing the “Chain of Survival” of early 9-1-1 access, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, defibrillation and advanced care.”
In 2006, Greenwich was the very first town in Connecticut to receive a HeartSafe designation in an effort to dramatically increase the survival of Sudden Cardiac Arrest by taking action when every second counts. Each day Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the cause of death for up to 1,000 people within the U.S. and of those suffering SCA only 5 to 10% will survive.
Greenwich Emergency Medical Service (GEMS) combats the mortality of Sudden Cardiac Arrest by consistently exceeding the HEARTSafe benchmarks by training thousands of individuals in CPR each year, providing more than (50) Public Access AEDs throughout the town, providing AEDs in all Police cruisers, and by having Paramedics respond to every medical emergency. Those efforts contribute to a survival rate of more than 40% for Sudden Cardiac Arrest patients in Greenwich.
The four commonalities that exist for the fortunate survivors of SCA are:
• The Sudden Cardiac Arrest was witnessed and 9-1-1 was dialed immediately
• Someone began CPR immediately while help was on the way
• Someone arrived quickly with an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) to shock the heart into a healthier rhythm
• Professional EMS Services arrive quickly to provide Advanced Life Support treatments such as advanced airway control and medications.
GEMS Executive Director Tracy Schietinger said, “This renewal is indicative of the Town’s dedication to saving lives. Many citizens are trained in CPR and are willing to help in an emergency, which is a vital link in the chain of survival. We encourage everyone to learn lifesaving CPR skills that may save the life of a friend or family member.”
First Selectman Peter Tesei said, “We should all be proud of the GEMS and Greenwich Police professionals as well as the volunteers and private citizens who contribute to this life-saving effort every day. This re-designation is a tribute to their efforts and to those lives saved.”
For more information on life-saving classes offered by Greenwich Emergency Medical Service, visit the website www.greenwichems.org.