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Yujiro Iwata trains fellow firefighters Monday at Sasebo Naval Base in the proper way to conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Yujiro Iwata trains fellow firefighters Monday at Sasebo Naval Base in the proper way to conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation. (Greg Tyler / S&S)

Yujiro Iwata trains fellow firefighters Monday at Sasebo Naval Base in the proper way to conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Yujiro Iwata trains fellow firefighters Monday at Sasebo Naval Base in the proper way to conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation. (Greg Tyler / S&S)

Using a dummy, Yujiro Iwata trains fellow firefighters to feel for an infant’s pulse Monday at Sasebo Naval Base, Japan.

Using a dummy, Yujiro Iwata trains fellow firefighters to feel for an infant’s pulse Monday at Sasebo Naval Base, Japan. (Greg Tyler / S&S)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — About 25 firefighters in Sasebo’s Commander U.S. Naval Forces Japan Regional Fire Department spent Monday participating in cardiopulmonary resuscitation training to earn or maintain certification.

Firefighters certified in CPR are required to complete training every two years, said Yujiro Iwata, a CPR trainer and firefighter.

In 2004, the CNFJ Regional Fire Department in Sasebo became the base’s emergency first response unit, said Jerry Clark, assistant fire chief.

Because firefighters are spread among seven stations throughout the base facilities, officials reasoned, the “firefighters should be the first on the scene to most any emergency, not just fires,” he added.

Iwata said base firefighters, comprising local hires, train “regularly on these emergency skills … something every week, every month. It takes training all the time to keep the skills sharp.”

When the department’s dispatchers receive a 911 call, they route it to the proper station.

If the emergency is entirely medical, Navy Branch Health Clinic emergency personnel also are sent but firefighters are charged with getting there first.

In a case involving multiple injuries at the same scene, firefighters are trained in triage, so when medical personnel arrive, they can attend immediately to the most critical cases.

Iwata said the department has responded to several medical emergencies in first-response role since taking on the responsibility.

“The cases have mainly been cuts, severe bleeding or broken bones,” he said.

“This responsibility means we have to be well-trained all the time on the latest emergency techniques.”

As part of CPR training, the firefighters learn to properly operate portable Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, Iwata added.

The devices can be used in cardiac arrest cases.

Asked if Sasebo’s community is in good hands when emergency medical response is needed, Iwata said, “I believe they are in good hands here, and training like we have today keeps firefighters knowledgeable in the skills.”


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