FDNY To Get New CPR Training

NEW YORK-- The city is changing the way it saves lives.

By the end of the year, every member of the Fire Department will be trained in a new form of CPR recommended by the American Heart Association.

The new lifesaving techniques - which are supposed to improve patient survival by improving blood flow and making the heart more responsive to shocks - call for more chest compressions and fewer automated defibrillator shocks than current procedures.

In August, the state mandated that the FDNY adopt the guidelines and train each of its 14,500 firefighters and EMS workers in the new CPR by Jan. 1.

The city must also update its defibrillators, which currently analyze a patient's condition every minute, administering shocks if necessary. Now, the machine should analyze only every two minutes.

Although the department said it will meet the state's requirements - and said the majority of EMS workers has already been trained - some medics are doubtful.

"There is no way in the world they'll have everybody trained," said one skeptical medic. "It's impossible. Only about half the medics have been trained so far."

"I haven't seen one updated defibrillator," said another EMT. "The machines are still shocking every minute, which actually impedes our ability to save people's lives under the new guidelines."

Republished with permission of The New York Post.

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