Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2014 Vol. 61 No. 10

Texas Department of Public Safety ECA and CPR Training

District Coordinators Summer Ray (DDC 18-San Antonio) and Al Guarino (DDC 13-Bryan) setting up their AEDs.

District Coordinators Summer Ray (DDC 18-San Antonio) and Al Guarino (DDC 13-Bryan) setting up their AEDs.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) oversees several locations that are visited by a large number of people every day, such as the State Capitol Complex and driver license offices around the state. Several medical emergencies have occurred in these locations, and our personnel have responded. There have also been occasions where emergency medical assistance was needed for our own staff while local EMS was en route.

One of the most serious medical emergencies is sudden cardiac arrest. The American Heart Association (AHA) has determined that persons who witness the collapse of an adult in cardiac arrest should activate the emergency medical services (EMS) system and provide high-quality chest compressions and use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).  Without oxygen, permanent brain damage can result in as little as four minutes, with death following soon after. However, the immediate delivery of CPR by a bystander can protect and sustain a victim until skilled medical assistance arrives. According to the AHA studies bystander CPR can more than double survival from cardiac arrest; bystander action can be expected to substantially improve cardiac arrest survival rates. CPR training improves trainees’ ability to learn and perform, among other things, proper chest compressions and the use of the AED.

Take 10

The Texas Department of Public Safety has adopted the Take 10 AED assisted bystander hands-only CPR training, which was approved by Dr. Paul Hinchey, the DPS’s medical director.   Currently, more than three thousand DPS commissioned and non-commissioned employees across the state in all of the DPS regions have received this training.  In addition the DPS has added more than three hundred AEDs to its locations and to selected individuals including TDEM field response personnel and the Executive Protective Bureau. This increase in the number of AEDs should make one available anytime the DPS physical readiness test is administered. 

TEmergency Care Attendant
class participants

Emergency Care Attendant
class participants

The department is also in the process of building a First Responder Organization (FRO), these persons will receive emergency medical services training and become credentialed by the medical director and have access to equipment to perform medical care. The department has sponsored two Emergency Care Attendant (ECA) classes and has approximately fifty state certified EMS personnel in the process of joining the FRO team.  This training will allow DPS personnel to assist our citizens as well as better serve DPS personnel during medical or traumatic emergencies.

Graduates of the ECA training program

Recent graduates of the ECA training program at the Capitol Complex.

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