Emergencies aren't for the faint of heart

Charlotte, NC (April 29th, 2016)-During the 2015 holiday season, a St. Alban’s visitor was coming back from communion when she fell and suffered injuries.  This unexpected medical emergency caused fellow attendees to focus their attention on the fellow church member. Luckily, there were two nurses in attendance a few pews back. Shortly thereafter, the parishioner got first aid, and was taken to the emergency room.


This frightening experience brought up a very important, but often forgotten scenario: how could the church help a parishioner or visitor who suffered from cardiac arrest? They couldn’t always rely on having a doctor or another medical professional in attendance. With these questions in mind, church leaders reached out to the local EMS provider, Mecklenburg EMS (MEDIC).


MEDIC and church leaders worked together to devise an emergency action plan to assist those in need of emergency assistance. The cornerstone of the plan was getting staff and volunteers trained in Hands CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) use. Over 50 members of the church received hands on training by MEDIC paramedics.


The AED at Alban’s Episcopal Church is one of twenty AED’s donated by North Carolina State Representative, Becky Carney. In 2009, Carney survived a cardiac arrest incident when  bystanders performed CPR and utilized the AED donated to the State House Floor by her freshman class. Carney’s second chance opportunity motivated her to pay it forward in the form of 20 AEDs donated to Medic’s Lucky Hearts Campaign for distribution and training at Charlotte area houses of worship.  The St. Alban’s AED is the 119th AED donated overall through the Agency’s campaign.


Public use AEDs helps increase survival from cardiac arrest.  The faster an AED is applied to a person suffering from cardiac arrest, the better their chances are for survival and recovery. Since the campaign’s inception in 2009, the Lucky Hearts Campaign has trained more than 4,200 people across Mecklenburg County in both CPR and AED awareness.


About Mecklenburg EMS Agency (Medic)

MEDIC has served as Mecklenburg County’s EMS agency since 1978. MEDIC is a joint government agency ran by Mecklenburg County, Novant Health and Carolinas Healthcare System. MEDIC is the busiest Emergency Medical Services agency in the State of North Carolina, with close to 500 employees and a fleet of 80 ambulances, mass casualty vehicles, and emergency response assets. MEDIC responds to more than 120,000 calls into the organization’s 9-1-1 emergency response dispatch center each year.

 This was actually the circumstance, but I don’t know if it’s better to use something more “fictionalized” to protect the individual involved—she was a visitor, and I wouldn’t want her to feel that her privacy was violated in any way.  But I do want to credit the  two nurses—somehow, we DIDN’T have a doctor at that service!  Otherwise, this looks really good!

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