'Stay Alive. Don't Drive.': BR officials launch new campaign

Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 5:18pm

UPDATED: Friday, August 8, 2014 - 1:24pm

Here's a phrase to remember tonight,"Stay alive. Don't drive." That's the name of a program city officials want to push. As I found out, it's all about keeping you safe.

During the summer, paramedics see a lot more heart attacks, but the problem is, instead of calling 911, people will drive themselves to the hospital. They said that's a bad idea because when it comes to a heart attack, timing can make all the difference.

"My story is a very simple one. I would not be alive if I did not call 911," said Bill Profita, a heart attack survivor.

Profita survived a heart attack, thanks to the East Baton Rouge Paramedics.

"I was having severe pain and didn't recognize it as a heart attack, but I knew something bad was wrong," Profita said. "My wife said 'Do I need to take you to the hospital?' and I don't know why I said, 'No, you need to call 911.'"

They got there just in time.

"My heart stopped," Profita said. "Had my wife drove, that would have happened in the passenger seat of her car on the way to the hospital, and she wouldn't have been able to. She would have had to watch her husband die."

That's why Profita is here today. He joined city officials and local hospitals to remind you to call for help when you need it because that's what the paramedics are for. Now, thanks to new technology they're using, the doctor will know what's going on before the ambulance even rolls up.

"They can evaluate you, treat you, talk to the hospital, send your information to the hospital electronically while they're sitting in your driveway," Profita explained.

Profita said a lot of times, people are worried about the cost of calling an ambulance, but he said your life is worth more than that.

"My bill was 50 bucks, you know, what's your life worth? I think a lot of people don't want to disturb the neighbors and don't want to make a big fuss or worry, or they're taking an ambulance away from somebody who might really need it," Profita said. "You know what, if you feel bad enough to think about it, you need to call 911."

The new technology they're using is basically a video call. EMS will launch it in August.

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Thanks for the post. It is really quite alarming to watch over the news of a tragic car accidents. You will end up dead in there.

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