Manhattan, NY – The FDNY is almost ready to roll out a pioneering program to salvage the organs of people who die of cardiac arrest at home, in accidents, or otherwise outside hospitals.
The department is seeking three emergency medical technicians to staff an ambulance in Manhattan designated as the “Organ Preservation Vehicle.”
When a patient is declared dead after failed resuscitation attempts, two EMTs, a “family services coordinator” and a doctor will respond to the scene. With the next of kin’s consent, they may keep the “potential organ donor” on a ventilator and take him or her to Bellevue Medical Center.
“These people may have wanted to be an organ donor, but there is currently no system in place to have this occur,” says the FDNY’s Office of Medical Affairs.
Officials have agreed on a protocol that would ensure the program would not hamper NYPD investigations of homicides or other unusual deaths.
The $1.5 million pilot is expected to start Nov. 1.
“We’re very excited about this new, cooperative plan that will allow us to do even more to honor organ donors’ wishes and save more lives,” the FDNY said in a statement.