For Immediate Release / October 31, 2023

City Emergency Services Personnel Recognized for Lifesaving Expertise

The City of St. Albert proudly acknowledges the outstanding achievements of two dedicated members of Fire Services who were recently presented with Excellence in Resuscitation Coins.

Steve Murdoch and Ryan Lawrence, who serve as Advanced Care Paramedics as well as firefighters with St. Albert Fire Services, were recognized for their exceptional skills in resuscitation and their contributions to the safety of St. Albert residents.

The pair received the honour at the 2nd Annual Excellence in Resuscitation Coin Ceremony held in Red Deer on October 16. The program is hosted by the Alberta Health Services Emergency Medical Services (AHS EMS) Science and Research Team and funded by the EMS Foundation. The awards were presented by St. Albert Fire Services’ Stephen Underhay, Assistant Chief of Operations; and Fred Hollands, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Coordinator, Emergency Services.  

Evaluation for the award involves a thorough audit of all available information on cardiac arrest cases in Alberta, with a primary focus on the quality of resuscitation efforts. This is determined by measuring the Chest Compression Fraction, or the proportion of total resuscitation time devoted to actual chest compressions, along with rate of compression and pauses. The ideal rate falls within the range of 100 to 110 compressions per minute, while the goal is to minimize the number of pauses and keep them as brief as possible.

Murdoch and Lawrence were assigned to a St. Albert Fire Services Ambulance and were assisting AHS EMS members who were attending to an early morning fire in the winter of 2022. The team achieved these remarkable results, showcasing their excellence in resuscitation in a demanding and challenging environment. Their achievements included a 95 per cent Chest Compression Fraction with an average compression rate of 114 per minute. Their efforts also saw zero pauses lasting longer than 10 seconds, with the longest pause lasting only seven seconds.

“Congratulations to Steve and Ryan on this outstanding achievement in their careers and commitment to providing St. Albert residents with quality emergency medical services,” says Mayor Cathy Heron. “We extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to both recipients of this prestigious award and the dedicated team in Fire Services for serving our community.”

Each year, the City’s integrated Fire/EMS staff respond to approximately 37 to 55 cardiac arrest cases. St. Albert Fire Services, in addition to handling medical and traumatic events, fire incidents, and motor vehicle collisions, also responds to a wide range of other emergency-related incidents, totaling roughly 7,000 to 8,000 calls annually.

Read more about the AHS EMS Excellence in Resuscitation Coins Program.

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Last edited: October 31, 2023