Aegeri valley, 24.11.2021

The Heart Emergency Group carried out nine missions in the first year

For a year now, the group has been providing first aid in emergencies inn the Aegeri valley, until the rescue service arrives. Dealing with the pressure is not always easy, but the appreciation is motivating.

Every minute counts in the case of a heart attack. The situation is even worse if it takes the rescue services up to 20 minutes to reach your location. And this is the reality in the Aegeri valley. In order to bridge this crucial time period from the emergency call being received in the operations centre to the arrival of the rescue forces with  the cardiac pressure massage, Ivo Nussbaumer together with his committee colleagues set up the Herznotfallgruppe Ägerital (Heart Emergency Group Aegeri Valley) association, which now has 29 members.

"We were alerted nine times within our first year of operation, and carried out life-sustaining  measures," says Ivo Nussbaumer. If a corresponding emergency call is received, or example, at the Zurich Operations Control Centre, it schedules the ambulance and also alerts The Heart Emergency Group at the same time. All the members then receive an alarm, and an internal WhatsApp group decides who will be deployed for the  mission. On the way, a defibrillator is picked up from one of the locations. “Unfortunately, none of the nine people survived their heart attacks, but our work was nevertheless very valuable. It is reassuring for the population to know that we are nearby to provide first aid," continues Ivo Nussbaumer, who is also a member of the Oberägeri fire department.

Talking takes the pressure off your shoulders
Because death is so omnipresent, it’s important to be able to talk to each other about the respective events, for example, over a beer after work. Because, in the worst case, you may even know the person or the person whom you have to resuscitate. "Talking about it helps takes the pressure off your shoulders. Because we have a very friendly relationship with each other and can talk openly," explains Franziska Nussbaumer, the wife of Ivo Nussbaumer, who is also on the board of the Herznotfallgruppe Ägerital. The association, whose youngest member is 20 years old and the oldest member is 70 years old, is motivated and happy to make such an important contribution to the general public. Ivo Nussbaumer adds:

"We regularly exchange ideas with the Risch Fire Brigade Heart Emergency Group. In the beginning, it was a year and a half before they could rescue their first person during an operation."

The scenario of a child swallowing a balloon and having to be resuscitated at a children's birthday party was played out during the last special exercise with the Zug rescue service.
Photo: Matthias Jurt, Oberägeri

In three cases, the Herznotfallgruppe Ägerital also worked together with the rescue service of the AMEOS Hospital Einsiedeln, when people from the region Raten/Alosen needed assistance.

The association can be joined by any adult person who lives or works in the Aegeri valley. "No special previous knowledge is required. The costs of the emergency helper course, which has to be refreshed every two years, are covered by the association for new members," continues Franziska Nussbaumer. In addition, the Herznotfallgruppe Ägerital carries out two half-day special training courses a year together with the Zug rescue service, half a day of which is mandatory for group members.

Happy that  employers are understanding
"We play through everyday situations during the exercises. Such as a child who swallows something at a birthday, or other emergencies in which the person to be rescued from excavator at work or from a car," adds Franziska Nussbaumer. The vehicles or work workshop, as well as meeting rooms, are gladly provided by the local population. "Our employers are very understanding when we suddenly have to leave the workplace because of a deployment. This understanding is not self-evident," notes Ivo Nussbaumer gratefully.

The project is partly financially supported by the canton and the two municipalities, as well as by voluntary donations, which can be made using QR codes. But donations in kind also find their way to the Herznotfallgruppe Ägerital. "We are grateful for any kind of support. It doesn't always have to be financial," says Ivo Nussbaumer. He is happy if he can use a part of the financing to organise a well-deserved club dinner with his colleagues as soon as the current situation allows.

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