Act FAST and call 911

Earth Day is a time of celebration for the renewal of the precious planet we call home. There was an important meeting that day reminding many of us that there is another life renewal that takes place when we recognize the important, sometimes subtle, symptoms of stroke, an event that can have devastating results ending in death, that can possibly be life altering with consequences ending a life of hiking outdoors to one of having to use a walker for mobility.

Harold Beebout, who has been active in the Sperryville Fire and Rescue organization for many years, gave a presentation in which he listed symptoms that can identify a stroke and that acting FAST can result in a renewed life with better consequences for a stroke victim. Because of medical advances, people can be helped much better than in years past. Harold listed: Facial droop, lopsided smile; arm numbness on one side; slurred speech; time to act FAST, call 911 immediately. Harold described the methods rescue people use when responding to 911 calls as well as the equipment provided in the rescue vehicles. Harold emphasized the extensive training our rescue people have, enabling them to respond quickly and efficiently to a 911 call.

In listening to him talk about transporting patients, I heard him mention the issue of cell service while enroute, a reminder that that critical element must be improved here in our county. My additional thought is that as our population ages, we must address the issue of our aging rescue volunteers and find ways to encourage our younger people to engage in this important activity as much as possible. For many of us, simply a phone call to our local fire and rescue place to ask how we might be able to help in some way might be an immediate answer for some of them. Our fire and rescue volunteers are our friends and neighbors, trained and ready to assist us.

Remember FAST and call 911.

Thank you Harold Beebout and Father Tuck Grinnell for giving us this important message. Together we Rappahannock Community citizens can celebrate a renewed life.

Sheila Dwyer Gresinger

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