Spaghetti fundraiser March 8 for lifesaving equipment
By Judy Reed
In 2016, there were more than 350,000 instances of sudden cardiac arrest (outside of hospitals), according to the American Heart Association. About 46 percent had CPR performed on them by a bystander, and only 12 percent survived. That might not sound like a high number, but it’s a number that’s climbed over the last several years, thanks to new lifesaving equipment available to paramedics that will automatically do chest compressions. And Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue is trying to raise money to buy the equipment to treat people locally.
According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, the department responded to 11 heart attacks in 2016, and two since the first of the year. One of the two did not survive.
Fraser said that each call averages 8 people per call, averaging 60-70 minutes each, and they must do CPR manually. “60-70 minutes is a long time,” he said, adding that manual CPR calls for 120 compressions a minute. He also noted that daytime staffing can also be difficult, with firefighters working during the day.
With an automatic chest compression system, they could do the call with only three people. And the device would keep the patient’s blood circulating, delivering oxygen to organs while waiting for the ambulance to arrive to transport the patient to the hospital.
Algoma Fire and Kent City Fire both have one of these systems, and Algoma brought it to the Cedar Springs City Council to show them how it would help Cedar Springs. The Council then challenged Chief Fraser to do some fundraising for the $15,000 piece of equipment. “We have some money in next year’s budget, but would like to supplement that,” said Fraser.
He also said that the need for the equipment would only increase, with two senior citizens opening in Cedar Springs in the near future.
Their first fundraising event will be a spaghetti dinner on Wednesday, March 8, from 5-8 p.m. at Cedar Springs Big Boy, 13961 White Creek Ave. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children ages 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased from any firefighter or medic. You may also purchase at the door. Call 696-1221 to order tickets. Leave a voicemail, the station will return your call.