On June 15, 2019, members of Currituck County Fire-Emergency Medical Services saved a 49 year old male who had gone into sudden cardiac arrest in Corolla. The patient, a vacationer from Maryland, was swimming in the ocean at the onset of his cardiac arrest. He was removed from the ocean by Corolla Beach Rescue lifeguards, who immediately began administering CPR and used an automatic external defibrillator on the man.
EMS personnel arrived and administered Advance Life Support emergency treatment. After 17 minutes, the patient’s pulse returned and he was airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital by the Dare County Med-Flight air ambulance. EMS staff reports that the patient’s health steadily improved and he was released from Norfolk General Hospital on June 18.
Earlier this year, on May 25, a 37 year old male from New York was also saved from sudden cardiac arrest. This man went unconscious while in the ocean and was removed by his fiance and bystanders, who began initial CPR at the scene. Currituck Fire-EMS personnel administered Advance Life Support treatment and, after approximately 15 minutes, the patient regained a pulse and was transported to the hospital. EMS reports that he was discharged five days later to return home.
Currituck County is extremely proud of these accomplishments. Since May 12, 2018, 5 out of 13 people have been saved from cardiac arrest while vacationing in Corolla. This 38% success rate is 30% better than the national average, according to EMS staff. Currituck County Fire-EMS credits the quick response times to these incident scenes and having proper staffing and training of personnel. Both fire engines in the Corolla Fire District are state-certified with Advance Life Support equipment. During critical incidents, Currituck Fire-EMS collaborates with the Currituck 911 Center, Corolla Beach Rescue, Corolla Volunteer Fire Department, Currituck County Sheriff’s Office, Dare County, and Nightingale Air Ambulance. This teamwork helps to keep the beaches in Currituck County safer for our residents and guests.