June 15, 2021

Working together to save a life in the Cayman Islands

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When an emergency occurs it often takes a team of first responders to provide successful assistance, and on Saturday (18 November 2017) the collaborative efforts of several agencies saved a life.

That morning the Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) received a 911 call that a woman, who was on a group diving excursion, had become unresponsive while underwater, and was receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from one of the boat crew members.

DPSC immediately dispatched Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and four fire officers from the West Bay Fire Station to respond to the life-threatening situation.

When fire officers Norman Josephs, Pablito Jocson, Urick McField and Michael Swaby arrived on the scene, CPR was being administered by EMS personnel, and the crew immediately began to assist.

“While I was doing CPR I was hoping to the good Lord that my work was not in vain,” Mr. Josephs explains. “My main goal in that moment was to save the woman’s life.”

Mr McField continued to perform compressions while in the back of the ambulance for 20 minutes, as EMS personnel carried out other medical procedures and Mr. Swaby drove the team to George Town Hospital.

The diver was treated and later released from the hospital.

“Teamwork is the key to doing the job faster and efficiently,” Mr. Jocson says. “We always work hard together because that is our mission as emergency first responders.”

Another water-related incident occurred earlier this month, where two West Bay fire officers swam more than 25 feet and pulled two visitors from the waters off Cemetery Beach. The two men were transported to the Cayman Islands Hospital, where one visitor was unfortunately pronounced dead.

“The preservation of life is not to be treated lightly; it is a significant responsibility entrusted to us,” Chief Fire Officer David Hails says. “Our men and women work tirelessly to protect our visitors and residents.”

He added: “Both incidents demonstrated the strong collaborative work that our country’s first responders carry out on a daily basis. We will remain committed to working in conjunction with them so that together we are able to provide an efficient service to the people of the Cayman Islands.”


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