For 42 years members of the Suffield Volunteer Ambulance have been taking sick and injured people from Suffield to the hospital and teaching first aid and CPR on the side, but the world we live in is changing and we are changing with it. No longer is it realistic to just be reactive. In an effort to be more proactive, we have been working on a number of important prevention and preparedness initiatives.
In the area of prevention, we have partnered with the Suffield Local Prevention Council in several programs since its inception almost two years ago.
• We helped sponsor a forum with Eric Staton, a local paramedic and EMS/police trainer on identification of illicit drugs and how parents can deter use by their children.
• In response to an increasing threat, we have sponsored instructor training for QPR, a nationally recognized suicide prevention program. Classes for the general public, which are about an hour and a half long, will be scheduled shortly.
• For several years we have been giving high school running sports athletes bright yellow training shirts to make them visible, and thus safer, when running along the roads.
We have embarked on a number of preparedness initiatives:
• Helped train Suffield Police in “Officer Down Rescue”;
• Put the police officers and a number of our own members through an advanced, two-day class in bleeding control and treating traumatic injuries;
• Trained Suffield Police officers and our members in the use of naloxone (NARCAN) to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
We are also planning to offer “Stop the Bleed” classes for the general public in use of tourniquets and large bandages to control serious bleeding.
In today’s world, communities need to work together to stay safe. Members of your community ambulance service are honored to be a part of Suffield’s prevention efforts and to support the Suffield Local Prevention Council.