ems

YNHH events recognize everyone’s role in the “chain of survival”

To kick off National EMS Week, Yale New Haven Hospital’s Center for EMS On May 17 honored first responders from throughout the region, including those who made “cardiac saves” during 2018.

During a recognition celebration at the center, some of those first responders got to meet the people they saved. They included survivor Robert Ranfone, who went into cardiac arrest while visiting his son Daniel in North Branford last June. Fortunately, Daniel had CPR training, and after calling 911 began chest compressions on his father. He was soon joined by North Branford Police Sgt. Cort Sperry. The two took turns performing CPR until first responders arrived and took over, transporting Robert to YNHH’s Emergency Department.

At the EMS event, Sperry was honored for his part in the cardiac save, along with Robert Schreiber, Daniel Mesner, Tom Hart, Dave Prather and Rich LaBree of the North Branford Fire Department. They were among a number of first responders recognized during the celebration.

Robert Ranfone’s experience – and that of many other survivors – is why YNHH is marking National CPR and AED Awareness Week June 2 - 8 by encouraging people to learn CPR. The American Heart Association also encourages people to look for automatic external defibrillator devices (AEDs) in their workplaces, schools, restaurants or wherever they happen to be. Even if you’re not trained to use an AED, you might have to retrieve the device in an emergency and deliver it to someone who is trained.

Anyone can learn to use these tools, part of the Heart Association’s “chain of survival.” The chain starts with a call to 911, followed by CPR, AED use, then first responder arrival and patient transport to the hospital. For information about CPR and AED training, visit heart.org/en/cpr.

After four days at YNHH and surgery to place two cardiac stents last summer, Robert Ranfone has recovered. He still gets emotional when recalling how his son and first responders saved his life, saying, “Thanks to them, I got to meet my grandson.”