Just in time for CPR Awareness Week (beginning Thursday), Denton County Emergency Services District No. 1 recently reunited the entire “chain of survival,” everyone who played a part in the lifesaving efforts for a man who had cardiac arrest at Argyle Middle School last month.
The man, a construction worker, had the medical emergency on April 12 at the school, according to Megan Reynolds, spokesperson for the ESD (formerly the Argyle Fire District). Reynolds said the quick thinking of bystanders helped save the man.
“Argyle ISD police and administrators saw the emergency happen and they immediately called 911, which is critical,” Reynolds said.
Staff members began administering CPR before paramedics arrived, another effort that drastically affected the man’s chances at surviving the cardiac arrest.
“Survivability drops 10% every minute,” Reynolds said. “It usually takes us 7 minutes to respond, and survivability can drop 30% before we’ve even left yet because it takes time for people to recognize the emergency, call 911 and for dispatchers to alert us.”
The patient also received advanced resuscitation treatment from paramedics and a defibrillator, according to the ESD, as well as post-cardiac arrest care at Medical City Denton. About 20 people — including Argyle ISD staff, Denton County dispatchers, hospital staff and ESD staff — each served as a “link” in the man’s “chain of survival.”
The ESD invited the patient and his family to its May 18 board meeting, where each member who was a part of the chain of survival received a community lifesaving award. The man, who Reynolds said was “incredibly appreciative,” was able to be reunited with those who helped save his life, and then the firefighters invited him to stay for dinner.
“It was really special because they had just done chest compressions on him a few weeks before, and now they’re having dinner together,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds said the ESD “is very passionate about teaching citizens CPR,” so they can be prepared if they are on the scene of a similar emergency before paramedics can arrive.
“It’s one of the most effective ways to save lives, because a bystander can be there so much faster than us,” she said.
The ESD often holds CPR training classes for the public. If you are interested in attending one, contact Reynolds at [email protected].