By Yvonne Johnson, APG NewsJune 11, 2012
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (June 11, 2012) -- The value of a life-saving program at Aberdeen Proving Ground has resulted in it being honored with a prestigious state award during National Emergency Medical Services Week in May.
The Directorate of Emergency Services' Fire and Emergency Services Division received the Outstanding EMS Program Award from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, or MIEMSS, during a ceremony at the Miller Senate Office Building in Annapolis, Md., May 22, 2012.
During the annual Maryland Stars of Life ceremony, Dr. Robert R. Bass, MIEMSS executive director and a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, or FACEP, presented the award to APG Fire Chief Edward C. Budnick who was accompanied by Michael P. Slayman, assistant chief of EMS. They were accompanied by paramedics Michael Davis, Scott Kauffman, and John Williamson who represented the entire Fire and Emergency Services Division.
The award was for the public education initiative involving the Public Access Defibrillator Program in which military and civilian employees receive instruction in first aid, CPR, and proper use of the automated external defibrillator, known as an AED.
In 2011, APG paramedics and firefighters taught more than 2,400 students, comprising nearly 11,000 student hours, in 168 public classes and increased public access to defibrillators on post, resulting in at least two lives saved.
Slayman, who runs the program, said its success is due to the amount of responders and AEDs in place on APG -- 498 AEDs in buildings and facilities throughout APG North (Aberdeen) and South (Edgewood).
He said the public access program that started in 1996 in post gyms has evolved and grown so much in numbers that it also was nominated for the EMS Program of the Year in 2008. Two CPR/AED classes -- as they are commonly called -- are held the third Wednesday of each month. Slayman said the award speaks volumes about the students' actions as well as the instructors' commitment.
"It emphasizes the importance [of the program] to our working population on post and ensures they know how to respond appropriately during an emergency," he said, "and, it keeps my instructors motivated in a valuable program that requires a lot of additional time and work."
In addition, emergency responders record each time an AED is used and maintain statistics on the medical outcome. Slayman said the award also recognizes the statistics on patients who were previously in cardiac arrest and obtained a "return of spontaneous circulation, or ROSC.
"The national average of patients who suffer a cardiac arrest and are resuscitated in the field is only 5 to 7 percent," he said. "Due to our outstanding public education initiative, in every cardiac arrest we responded to last year, out of three cardiac arrests, ROSC was obtained on all three and two returned to work within two weeks of the incident with little to no neurological deficit."
He said all credit goes to the paramedics and firefighters who teach the programs. So far this year, 1,265 students have been trained.
"The educated public and availability of nearly 500 AEDs on post is what drives our success numbers," Slayman said, adding that the program "bends over backwards" to support APG organizations.
"We've been doing a lot with MWR and Child, Youth and School Services as well as with large organizations like ATC," he said.
More than 60 AEDs are located on the C4ISR complex, and the program even offers night classes.
"We train everybody," Slayman said. "We really understand the importance of keeping people happy and what we see in return is public support."
MIEMSS AND EMS WEEK
Each year the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems celebrates EMS Week by honoring men and women across Maryland who have contributed to the EMS System. The term "Stars of Life" is used because it combines the symbol, the star of life, with the shared vision, "the elimination of preventable death and disability from injury or sudden illness."
Awardees are selected by a statewide committee of career, volunteer and commercial EMS providers. The Outstanding EMS Program Award is awarded to a program that offers an innovative approach to reducing death and disability.