Submitted by Fire Rescue Chief Ty Silcox
City of Fernandina Beach
September 12, 2018 9:30 a.m.
Yesterday around 11:25, a 69-year old male was witnessed going into cardiac arrest on the beach at Seaside Park. Our Ocean Rescue Supervisor was changing the flag conditions when he was waved down by beach patrons and advised of the medical emergency. He observed bystanders doing CPR on the victim and was advised that he had collapsed after exiting the water. Haynes Cavender exited his vehicle with an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) and medical equipment and began treatment of the patient. He radioed dispatch of the incident and requested Fire and EMS units.
Fire and EMS arrived within 2 minutes and began performing Advance Cardiac Life Support protocols. When Rescue made contact with the patient, he had a returned heartbeat. He was then transported to Baptist Nassau Hospital. At last check, the patient was still in the hospital recovering from the event. The quick actions of bystander CPR, access to an AED and immediate 911 access has once again proven that these elements can help save lives. We continue to encourage people to take CPR classes and learn to recognize when someone is having a medical emergency.
When questioned by the Firefighters, the wife of the patient advised that he had just helped a young child out of the water who had been in distress. With the end of Ocean Rescue’s season, we have encouraged people to be cautious when entering the water.
We continue to advise through the 888777BCHSAFE text message current flag conditions. With the passing of Hurricane Florence, the ocean will continue to become rougher with dangerous life-threatening rip currents. We advise that people should not be in the surf unless they are well trained for these conditions. Always remember, “When in doubt, don’t go out”.