Coconut Creek firefighters trained in new life-saving technique

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – Every second counts in a trauma situation. Critical patients need critical care, and sometimes time isn’t on your side.

“I wanted to give our paramedics one more tool in the toolbox to take advantage of, and to hopefully save a life out there,” said Coconut Creek Asst. Chief Tony Chin.

A procedure typically reserved for emergency room hospitals is moving right out onto the field. It’s called a finger thoracostomy and Chin said it’s a game changer.

“We open up the chest cavity with a small incision, about one inch, to let all the air out so that the heart can re-expand and also produce a pulse,” Chin said.

The goal is to try and relieve the pressure that can build up from blunt force trauma to the chest after a serious car crash, a shooting or even a stabbing.

“Somebody, somewhere, some department is going to do this procedure and it’s going to save a life,” said Chin.

Chin said he’s been in situations where the procedure could’ve done just that.

The training is extensive, overseen by the department’s medical director, and the goal is to get the kits in every single unit.

Coconut Creek is one of the first agencies in Broward County to go through this training, following Miramar.


About the Author:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.