Off duty firefighter uses CPR skills roadside

Oak Bay firefighters offer low-cost CPR training for residents

Oak Bay firefighters Riley Ireland (left) and Doug Trumble demonstrate the CPR they perform as first responders in the community. The firefighters

Oak Bay firefighters Riley Ireland (left) and Doug Trumble demonstrate the CPR they perform as first responders in the community. The firefighters

First responder skills kicked in when Lt. Jason Joynson, an Oak Bay firefighter, came across a man trying to offer CPR.

Joynson was driving home recently and spotted a man performing CPR roadside.

He feels it was simply the “right place at the right time.”

“I just feel proper CPR is important and all our constant training pays forward 24 hours a day whether we’re on or off duty,” Joynson said. “In the performance of my job I’ve performed CPR dozens of times and on top of our frequent training I’m very proficient in it, but this incident was purely timing. I believe I was there very close to his cardiac arrest making his chances of survival from an acute arrest high.”

He deflects any special recognition, pointing to the community that came together.

A woman driving saw the man lying on the ground and drove around the block to stop and call 9-1-1, despite having her two young children in the car. A man walking nearby stopped to do compressions, which Joynson took over.

“As I was performing CPR there were others who offered to help me with compression which I declined,” he said, putting faith in his training. Then a nurse came by, taking over compressions while he gave breaths using his pocket mask. “(That) allowed us to get to a 10:1 ratio which I know from training is more effective than the 30:2 I was doing alone.

“The Saanich firefighters were quick and followed their AED (automated external defibrillator) protocols, the ambulance guys who also worked hard and delivered a shock. Together as a community this all resulted in this man’s admission into the ER alive. I was happy to help and very happy of that report.”

Thanks to a program delivered by local firefighters, many an Oak Bay resident is proficient in basic CPR.

“It’s something our department and union do to help give this life-saving skill to our community,” said firefighter Riley Ireland, CPR chair for Oak Bay Fire Department. “We do it at-cost, just to cover equipment.”

Firefighters volunteer the time and the department helps maintain their certification as instructors. They lead courses, in CPR-A (performed on adults) and automated external defibrillator, for groups of six to 20 people. The program costs $20 per person.

Those with a group and a flexible timeframe can  call the fire hall at 250-592-9121.

“We’ve had multiple emails and letters from community members where their CPR skills saved the life of a friend or family member,” Ireland said. “I think that’s always nice to hear. They remembered what they learned here and were able to use it.”

While Joynson sheds the limelight on others, Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen says it makes a statement about those serving this community.

“He demonstrated the kind of dedication all of our firefighters have,” Jensen said. “I know in the past people have commended our firefighters for the kind of quick action they’ve taken in situations. It really is a strong statement of what a strong fire department we have and dedicated firefighters.”

Jensen learned the patient was unconscious, but alive, upon arrival at the hospital.

“I think this incident is an excellent example of best surviving an arrest. Knowing statistically there’s a three per cent chance of surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, this legitimizes early CPR – performed correctly – early defibrillation, early advanced life support and early hospital care helps beat the odds getting resuscitated,” Joynson said. “This man was and that is very cool.”