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Telephone-CPR to Increase Bystander Intervention - 91/2020

February 14, 2020


The Gibraltar Fire & Rescue Service, Gibraltar Ambulance Service and Gibraltar Health Authority are pleased to announce the launch of Telephone-CPR.

From today, anyone ringing 190 or 112 for an emergency ambulance will be asked 4 questions to establish if the patient requires resuscitation. Where appropriate, the Controller will give instructions on how to give chest compressions until the arrival of the Paramedic Ambulance.

This is a joint initiative between the Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance Service that aims to increase the number of cardiac arrest victims receiving CPR from bystanders. Early successful resuscitation intervention is an effective treatment in preventing death from sudden cardiac arrest, one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

Telephone-CPR has been shown to significantly reduce the number of deaths from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and improve the quality of life experienced by the survivors.

The Chief Fire Officer, Colin Ramirez, said: ‘As Chief Fire Officer, I am extremely proud of this show of tireless dedication, partnership and coordination between emergency services sharing a common goal - working together to protect our community and help save lives.’

The Chief Ambulance Officer, Sigurd Haveland, said: ‘The 190 or 112 call handler in partnership with the bystander has the opportunity to identify a person in sudden cardiac arrest and provide the first point of care by delivering Telephone-CPR.’

The GHA’s Resuscitation Officer, Tina Reyes-Hughes, said: ‘It is estimated that this year 20 people in Gibraltar will have a cardiac arrest either at home, at work or in a public place. A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating suddenly and without warning. Because these people are not likely to be in hospital, it is the public, friends, relatives and strangers that are in the best position to make a difference by starting CPR quickly and before the ambulance arrives.’

The Minister with responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service, the Hon Gilbert Licudi QC said: ‘I would commend the various services involved in this. Saving lives is one of the fundamental components of an emergency service. I have no doubt that the launch of Telephone CPR will make a real difference to our community and, in particular, to anyone suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.’

Minister for Health and Care, the Hon Paul Balban, said: ‘This excellent initiative will enable those who call for an Ambulance to provide effective CPR intervention until an Ambulance arrives. In an emergency, it is always better to do something rather than nothing, and providing CPR quickly will significantly increase the chances of survival for someone having a cardiac arrest. Being guided through the process will enable those trying to help in a cardiac arrest situation to take effective, lifesaving action.’