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Saskatoon civilian saves a life, thank-you!

For immediate release: December 16, 2019 - 1:07pm

The Saskatoon Fire Department is pleased to recognize Mr. Dave Hume, a civilian whose instinctive actions and proactive training resulted in a remarkable and positive outcome to an emergency cardiac event.

On September 3, 2019 at approximately 10:27 a.m., the Saskatoon Fire Department was alerted to a working cardiac arrest in the Umea Vast Park, behind the Lawson Heights Mall, located at 134 Primrose Drive. One fire engine staffed with a crew of four was immediately dispatched from Fire Station No. 7 on Wanuskewin Road. Arriving on scene in less than three minutes, the crew found the patient, 70 year-old Mr. John Wiebe, connected to a public automated external defibrillator (AED) with bystanders performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Mr. Dave Hume was among those bystanders. He has an extensive background in community advocacy for public knowledge and access to AEDs and CPR training. Mr. Hume coordinated the efforts of fellow bystanders, including providing instruction on where to locate and how to connect the AED, in addition to beginning CPR on Mr. Wiebe. Those efforts helped save a life. It was also Mr. Hume’s advocacy and fundraising that allowed for the availability of an AED at this location. Awareness, accessibility, and adequate training to members of the public on CPR and AEDs can bridge the small, but life-changing lapse in time until firefighter-paramedics arrive to provide patient care.

The Saskatoon Fire Department has adopted the National Fire Protection Association’s 1710 model, Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments, which provides a benchmark standard of a four-minute response time that is to be met at greater than or equal to the 90th percentile.

With nine fire stations throughout Saskatoon, the Saskatoon Fire Department takes great pride in its ability to respond to any location in the City within four minutes. Currently staffing 140 Primary Care Paramedics (PCP), 50 Medical First Responders, and having all staff trained to perform CPR and operate AEDs, the Saskatoon Fire Department follows industry best practice of a four person team conducting high performance CPR. Emphasis is placed on starting CPR as quickly as possible, having minimal interruption, and a dedicated role of each rescuer; a multi-faceted approach in a simultaneous response, rescuers begin CPR, connect an AED, and provide airway management and supplemental oxygen in working towards the best possible outcome for the patient. As indicated by the Heart & Stroke Foundation, rescuers will perform high quality chest compressions at full capacity for approximately two minutes, at which time it is in the interest of the patient’s best care to cycle through duties, as done when conducting high performance CPR.

This incident demonstrates the importance of community members participating in adequate CPR training and familiarizing themselves with the operation and location of public AEDs.

Thank-you, Mr. Dave Hume, for your instinctive actions on September 3, 2019 and your continued community advocacy in the areas of public awareness, accessibility, and adequate training for CPR and AED usage.