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Broome County Celebrates EMS Week

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Broome County celebrates EMS Week. EMS stands for emergency medical squad and the week highlights the duties of emergency squad teams among other health professions in communities across the nation.

According to the Center for Disease Control, every year more than 700,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack. And first responders, EMS personnel, are all familiar with how to handle these situations.

"The main objective is to keep blood flowing through the body with oxygen so that it helps get oxygen to the brain and to the heart to the point where when the heart starts beating again, there is less chance of brain damage in the individual," said EMT Critical Care Provider John Smales.

Squads go on call for numerous incidents, with a large portion of calls responding to patients with chest or respiratory issues... but there's something you can do.

While EMS works hard to keep the community safe, they ask that residents do not fear using hands-only CPR to help aid in the situation before they arrive on scene.

Always make sure the scene is safe then make sure the person is okay. If no response... call 911.

And as for chest compressions, experts say there is no limit and with the proper training, anyone can perform them.

"It's going to give a better opportunity for the person that's doing CPR on them to be able to not be so scared of doing this. You're just doing chest compressions, no mouth-to-mouth. Chest compressions can give that blood and oxygen to the brain to get that going and that gives us a better chance of helping them to get them into the hospital," said Deputy Director of Administration Community Outreach for Union Volunteer EMS Michael Taylor.

In the end, EMS workers say patients are always top priority.

To learn proper hands-only CPR techniques you can call the Union Volunteer Emergency squad at 607-754-3414 to schedule an appointment.

EMS week runs from now until May 23.