Alex Vargas
Lincoln Journal Star, Neb.

Lincoln Fire and Rescue on Monday hosted a Resuscitation Academy for the second year to teach other agencies the practices and knowledge that make LFR nationally recognized for its cardiac responses.

Lincoln was declared a “Lighthouse Community” by the Seattle-based Resuscitation Academy. It is one of 10 communities in the United States and the only one in the Midwest to receive that designation.

“Lighthouse Communities” are meant to serve as models for the area regarding resuscitation. When LFR responds to non-traumatic cardiac arrests, the chance of survival is double the national average, according to LFR spokesperson MJ Lierman.

Monday’s gathering included 15 different agencies and the American Heart Association, LFR Battalion Chief Aaron Pospisil said.

He said the first year hosting the event was a learning opportunity for him, but he received a lot of positive feedback and made improvements to the training this year.

The 26 individuals who attended were from North Platte, Sioux City, Beatrice, Seward County and elsewhere.

“Our area of emphasis is Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa, but the invite is open to anyone,” Pospisil said.

The academy is free of charge to the agencies attending. It focuses on improving the nation’s survival rate when dealing with cardiac episodes.

The agencies attending are also different links in what is known as the “Chain of Survival.” This includes dispatchers, first responders and even doctors.

The director of Saunders Counties 911 Center, Amy Meier, participated Monday in a two-minute training exercise meant to practice the timing and force needed to perform CPR.

“(Dispatchers) are a critical part of the Chain of Survival,” Meier said, slightly out of breath. “We are the first professional people those calling 911 come in contact with and give them life-saving advice and instructions.”

The Lincoln/Lancaster County Emergency Communication Center dispatchers are CPR-certified, as are the dispatchers from Saunders County, which Meier implemented earlier in her tenure.

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