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Cranberry EMS, citizens form effective team

Submitted - Chuck Weintraub, 59, collapsed last year while mowing the grass, but thanks to his four-legged friend Cloe, who alerted neighbors, Weintraub was resuscitated and kept alive until the ambulance arrived.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Chuck Weintraub, 59, collapsed last year while mowing the grass, but thanks to his four-legged friend Cloe, who alerted neighbors, Weintraub was resuscitated and kept alive until the ambulance arrived.
Submitted - Chuck Weintraub, 59, collapsed last year while mowing the grass, but thanks to his four-legged friend Cloe, who alerted neighbors, Weintraub was resuscitated and kept alive until the ambulance arrived.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Chuck Weintraub, 59, collapsed last year while mowing the grass, but thanks to his four-legged friend Cloe, who alerted neighbors, Weintraub was resuscitated and kept alive until the ambulance arrived.

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Top honor

Cranberry Township Emergency Medical Service (CTEMS) has been granted Master Level certification in the Pediatric Voluntary Recognition Program administered by the EMS for Children program, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of EMS, and the Pennsylvania Health Services Council (PEHSC). Cranberry Township is the second agency in Butler County to be granted this certification.

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Shawn Annarelli
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

While the Cranberry EMS might grade well around the state and nation, they say the credit for what they're able to do often starts with quick-thinking, skilled citizens.

Without the initial assistance of concerned citizens for others, Cranberry EMS Deputy Director Ted Fessides said the ambulance company's above-average marks for resuscitation and survival wouldn't be possible.

Cranberry bystanders to cardiac arrests were more than 6-percent more likely to initiate CPR than bystanders nationally.

“It's an invaluable resource, and that's why we need more people trained to recognize when something is wrong and what to do,” Fessides said. “The more people we train, the more lives we'll save.”

A community effort to resuscitate a Cranberry man occurred last July when Chuck Weintraub's former foster dog and multiple neighbors worked together to keep him alive.

Weintraub, 59, was cutting his grass with his three dogs outside when he collapsed due to a malfunctioning anomaly in the brainstem that controls the lungs.

Cloe, his introverted foster dog who has since been adopted by the Rauenwinter family of Brookline, ran 400 yards down Weintraub's drive to Mike Brock's home. Cloe then coaxed Brock and his daughter, Melissa, to Weintraub.

Brock, of Cranberry, began chest compressions and told Melissa to run home and have his wife, Michele, call 911. Another neighbor, Charleen Deneen, who is a registered nurse, heard Melissa and went to the scene. Deneen performed CPR until the Cranberry EMS arrived.

“If not for Cloe going to Mike Brock, if not for Mike doing chest compressions, if not for them calling out for help for 911, if not for Charleen doing CPR, Cranberry EMS never would have got there with enough time,” said Weintraub. “I wouldn't be around.”

Fessides said that trained citizens are invaluable to keeping a fallen person's chances of survival up.

“After 6 minutes, every minute after your chances of survival decrease by 10 percent, and by the time you get to 15 minutes your chances are nil to none,” Fessides said.

Cranberry residents who wish to be trained to recognize symptoms of cardiac arrest and administer CPR may take classes from the Cranberry EMS in the township's municipal building. The next training date is June 21, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The cost of the class is $40, which includes a free face shield. Attendees must be at least 12 years old and be able to get on the floor.

Residents can email learncpr@cranberryambulance.org or call the station at 724-776-4480 ext. 1911 to reserve a spot.

Shawn Annarelli is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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