(CNS): Chief Fire Officer David Hails has lauded his fire crews and paramedics in West Bay after two recent rescues where they managed to save the lives of visitors who got into trouble swimming and snorkelling. On Saturday, 18 November, the collaborative efforts of emergency responders saved one life and at the beginning of the month fire crews put their own lives at risk in rough water when they saved one of two men who were in serious trouble off the coast of Cemetery Beach.
“Our men and women work tirelessly to protect our visitors and residents,” Hails said, adding that the preservation of life was a significant responsibility that his team does not take lightly.
“Both incidents demonstrated the strong collaborative work that our country’s first responders carry out on a daily basis. We will remain committed to working in conjunction with them so that together we are able to provide an efficient service to the people of the Cayman Islands,” Hails added.
On 18 November 911 dispatched emergency crews, including the West Bay fire team, when a call came in that a woman, who was on a group diving excursion, had become unresponsive while underwater, and was receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from one of the boat crew members.
When fire officers Norman Josephs, Pablito Jocson, Urick McField and Michael Swaby arrived on the scene, CPR was being administered by EMS personnel, and the crew immediately began to assist. “While I was doing CPR I was hoping to the good Lord that my work was not in vain,” Josephs said. “My main goal in that moment was to save the woman’s life.”
McField continued to perform compressions while in the back of the ambulance for 20 minutes, as EMS personnel carried out other medical procedures and Swaby drove the team to George Town Hospital. “Teamwork is the key to doing the job faster and efficiently,” Jocson said. “We always work hard together because that is our mission as emergency first responders.”
In that case the diver was treated and later released from the hospital, but earlier in the month one of the swimmers that fire officers pulled from the water died. Two of the West Bay fire officers swam more than 25 feet out to sea in rough conditions with a strong undercurrent to pull two visitors who were in serious trouble from the waters off Cemetery Beach. The men were transported to the Cayman Islands Hospital, where one was unfortunately pronounced dead. However, the life of the second man was saved.
Category: Local News