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FirstCare Donates EMS Kits to Blue Sky Rescue July 24,2019.

On July 3rd, 2019, FirstCare Solutions organized an airway management training session in the Xiamen Blue Sky Rescue Team headquarters. Blue Sky is a nongovernment organization currently active in thirty-one cities across China, specializing in natural disaster relief efforts and emergency rescue.  FirstCare Solutions has recognized their involvement in the local communities and opted to donate 1000 CPR pocket masks and 200 sets of bag valve masks. Our employees were there to hand it off and perform basic product training. We were especially drawn to show the advantage of having a CPR pocket mask and BVM.

Product Training for BVM and CPR Mask

BVM and Pocket Mask product training by FirstCare

In addition to daily patrols and on-call rescue missions, Blue Sky members work closely with the local community. They organize workshops multiple times every month to educate schools and other public institutions on the best ways to prepare and protect against a multitude of natural fallout, accidents, and the ensuing injuries.

The event went well, and the staff proved to be professional and dedicated to their work. In the end, we were able to sit down with the founder of Blue Sky Rescue Team in Xiamen, Ms. Suzhen Chen, to discuss the history and mission of her NGO, how their effort is affecting the local community, and how FirstCare Solutions is helping them rescue more people and reach a wider audience with their training.

FCS: Ms. Chen, it’s a pleasure to be here today. Blue Sky Rescue Team has been active in Xiamen over ten years, can you tell us more about why and how you started your NGO?

Ms. Chen: Yes, we are now in our eleventh year. Blue Sky Xiamen is part of a much larger organization spread out in China. Blue Sky Rescue Team was founded shortly after the earthquakes that occurred in the Sichuan province in May 2008. The damages of this disaster were devastating, over 69,000 people lost their lives in the quake, hundreds of thousands were reported injured, and millions lost their homes! At the time, I owned a business here in Xiamen, but I knew I had to do something. I went there and started working on the relief sites. During my time there, I met my current Blue Sky co-founders doing volunteer work as well. We helped with the evacuation of the injured, treated less severe injuries, delivered water, screened information, prevented cross-contamination, and gave them emotional support when able. As we spent time there, an idea formed. We decided to make our own rescue team, to train for the unforeseeable and make sure we never get caught off guard again. I quit my business soon after and created Blue Sky Xiamen. We were inspired by the fact, no matter how catastrophic the events, there is always a blue sky above us and in that, hope.

The catastrophic Sichuan Earthquake

FCS: It must have been a very harrowing experience. But some good came out of it, a lot of people donated articles and funds to make sure Sichuan gets proper relief.

Ms. Chen: yes, the public in China made a significant contribution. Over 10.7 billion yuan (ed. 1.5 billion dollars) were gathered from all over the Mainland. It was an incredible show of generosity and care. I met hundreds of volunteers that had worked tirelessly. Later we recruited some of them to form Blue Sky teams. Today, Blue Sky Rescue Team has set up thirty-one branches around China so far. More than thirty thousand volunteers were registered nationwide, coming to join us from every possible background.

Ms. Suzhen Chen and her team of first responders

FCS: That is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story.

Ms. Chen: Thank you for your donation. We are always happy to have more kits to use in case of emergencies. And the fact FirstCare Solutions wants to work with us will help update some of our emergency equipment and reach more people. One of our goals is to make sure our local community is capable of helping each other out in times of trouble.

FCS: We are always looking for ways to help the local community. Have you had some experience with handling CPR  resuscitation masks?

Ms. Chen: Yes, we have used both CPR Rescue Masks and CPR face shields, which are used in securing airways. So far, we had a supply of CPR face shields we always carry, but they sometimes tend to be less versatile. Using a collapsible CPR Mask with a valve is better because we can also attach a higher oxygen concentration through it if necessary, so the victim can seamlessly receive more oxygen. It fits better on the head, has a strap so we can fix it to the face and continue working hands-free if necessary. Compared to the simple face shields, the CPR pocket mask is proven to be more effective in terms of cross-contamination control and can help us protect ourselves from a possible infection of the victim, there is no direct contact, and the breathing can be monitored better.

CPR Pocket Resuscitation Mask Training

Ms.Chen and FirstCare's VP of sales, Mr. Damon Khoshabo are doing CPR training

FCS: And what about manual resuscitators?

Ms. Chen: I have personally been trained to use a bag valve mask, or as we usually call it, an ambu bag, in various first aid courses. Most of our responders are certified professionals. They know how to handle emergency resuscitation equipment. Ventilation bags are semi-transparent, so we can monitor the victim's lip color and fogging caused by breathing patterns. If the situation is particularly intense, using an Ambu bag makes a responder less tired and helps her control the airflow into the lungs, and the valve can be connected from any direction, so we have total freedom of movement during “bagging” the victim. This kind of standard resuscitation equipment can be used by civilians as well, but the most important thing is to make sure people understand how to use it properly. Otherwise, the lungs can get over-inflated. So it’s great that these BVMs have a valve that keeps a steady air pressure, the so-called non-rebreathing valve. Over inflation of lungs is usually the biggest issue with resuscitation by untrained individuals. We often have cases where the scene of the accident is already full of people, and someone is trying to give CPR as they saw in the movies. Everyone wants to help, but they usually have no idea how to do it properly. This is why we insist on regular training sessions for both young and old, and we invite people from all walks of life to join our free training. You never know how a little knowledge can help save people around you. Especially if you are using more advanced equipment like an Ambu bag.

PVC Disposable Manual Resuscitator Training

Product Training for PVC Disposable Manual Resuscitator

FCS: Excellent. We are delighted that we can equip real-life heroes like you. Besides having proper rescue equipment, could you tell us about how to handle emergency situations such as encountering a drowning victim? As we discussed during the product training, the risk of people drowning along the coastline is high during this time of the year.

Ms. Chen: Yes definitely. First of all, if you encounter a drowning individual, call for an ambulance, this is the number one thing to do in case of any medical emergency. If they are still in the water, drag them out. Be aware of the fact that in saltwater, water is pulled out of the bloodstream and into the lungs, making the blood thicker and taxing the heart. This makes the situation even more urgent. After the victim is safely out, check if they are breathing – put your ear next to their nose and mouth, to see if there is air hitting your cheek, and check to see if their chest is moving. If there is any water in their lungs, turn the drowning person's head to the side, allowing any water to drain from his or her mouth and nose. After a few seconds, turn their head back to the center position. Now is the time to use a CPR Mask or face shield. The current CPR guidelines indicate that CPR should begin with chest compressions. Due to the conditions associated with near-drowning, the rescuers are advised to deliver two rescue breaths first, and then begin the cycles of compressions and breaths as directed. This especially applies to BLS-trained EMS professionals, but is advised for all rescuers. Breaths may be given mouth-to-nose if the rescuer and victim are both still in the water, as mouth-to-mouth ventilations may be difficult to perform. Prevention of accidents beats rescuing. Therefore, be cautious when in and around water bodies. Avoid consuming alcohol or a lot of food, when boating or swimming.

FCS: Thank you so much for your advice. We know that Blue Sky is very busy organizing workshops to train the public in giving proper first aid.

Ms. Chen: Public first aid training is at the top of our to-do list on a regular basis. We have saved a lot of lives over the years, but there were a lot of devastating situations when we just couldn’t get to the scene of an emergency quickly enough. We strongly believe that if more people are educated about airway management, breathing and bleed control, and trained to be more emergency responsive, the chances of random accident survival would be much higher. We have decided to spend a lot of our time going to the public. Schools especially are our focus, because we see the young people in Xiamen and China as the most prominent asset in creating awareness and quick response. Performing training in schools will now include more focus on CPR masks and Ambu resuscitator bags, seeing we have more in stock thanks to your donation. We actually have one training session coming up tomorrow, and we can immediately apply some newly learned techniques and kits.

One of the Emergency Training held by Blue Sky in a local school

FCS: We appreciate what Blue Sky is doing, we need to support the local community more. FirstCare Solutions will continue to work with you in the future to provide high-quality products for the prevention and protection of medical emergencies.

Ms. Chen: We are happy to be a part of your donation efforts. We look forward to future cooperation as well. Thank you for your time today, I hope this information will be useful for anyone reading this. Stay safe and join the Blue Sky training sessions!

FirstCare Donates EMS Kits

FirstCare Management Team with Ms. Chen, Captain of Blue Sky Rescue Team Xiamen

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