Four members of the RCIPS Air Operations Unit are now certified emergency medical responders – thanks to a joint initiative between the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority and the police.
In addition, the Cayman Heart Fund has very generously donated a defibrillator for use on the police helicopter.
The four crew members recently completed an accredited EMR course covering issues such as CPR; managing muscle, bone, head and spine injuries; assisting with childbirth; and mass casualty incidents and triage. The two-week course was facilitated by the HSA at no cost to the RCIPS.
This initiative means that the RCIPS Air Operations Unit is now classified as one of the first ‘Helicopter Emergency Medical Service’ (HEMS) of its kind. Staffed by police Tactical Flight EMR officers, it will enhance and support the first line medical response options within the Cayman Islands. In addition, helicopter awareness and safety training for the EMT paramedics is underway and this will allow paramedics to be deployed onboard the helicopter when needed.
Medical equipment such as a heart defibrillator and oxygen will now be carried on the helicopter as standard equipment. The defibrillator, which is worth several thousand dollars, has been donated to the RCIPS by the Cayman Heart Fund.
On Friday 13 July 2012, the Commissioner of the RCIPS, David Baines, gratefully accepted the certificates for those who completed the course from the CEO of the HSA, Mrs. Lizzette Yearwood, and the defibrillator from Dr. Sook Yin, Medical Director of the Cayman Heart Fund. The presentation took place at the Camana Bay helipad.
“We are grateful to the Heath Services Authority for providing this training and to the Cayman Heart Fund for gifting us this vital lifesaving equipment, all at zero cost to the RCIPS,” said Commissioner Baines. “This certification means that our crews now have the capability to provide first response treatment in cases where medical professionals have not yet arrived on scene, are unable to access the scene, or need additional support at multiple casualty incidents. But it’s important to acknowledge that this will not replace the already excellent service provided by paramedics - it will simply enhance and supplement that service for the benefit of the Cayman Islands communities.”
"We are extremely pleased to partner with the RCIPS on this initiative to augment the Cayman Islands EMS Service," stated Mrs. Lizzette Yearwood, CEO of the Health Services Authority. "The Helicopter Medical Service with Air Operations Officers who are cross trained in emergency medical procedures, will result in a faster response time to scenes that are difficult to access by road, and thereby giving victims a better chance of survival.”
Dr. Yin, Director of Cayman Heart Fund, said: "Cayman Heart Fund is delighted to donate an AED to the RCIPS Air Operations Unit as this will enable the Helicopter Emergency First Responders to resuscitate a collapsed victim with sudden cardiac arrest. The AED is the vital link in restarting the heart in these cases. The Cayman Heart Fund AED program has been very well supported by the community. Since we launched in 2009 there are well over 150 AEDs placed in businesses and public places, making Cayman a Cardiac Safe place. CHF continues to encourage the public to support our AED program. By purchasing the AEDs direct from us, we are able to put aside some of the funds to supply schools and community places that don't have the funds to purchase them."
The remaining members of the Air Operations Crew will be trained in August. A number of Marine Unit officers will also attend that course which will, once again, be facilitated at zero cost by the Health Services Authority. Those who complete the EMR course will be regularly assessed to ensure that they continue to meet the stringent standards required.
Those who successfully completed the course are Neil Mohammed, Ronnie Pollard, Steve Day and Danny McIlhagga.
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