First responders have a vital role on whether someone who suffered a neurological injury can be eligible to donate life. It is a first responder’s priority to save the life of a victim, they are not involved in the organ and tissue transplantation process.

“Partnering with Donor Network West to save and heal more lives right here in Reno, Nevada has been a true honor for the Reno Fire Department. We are proud to take those initial life-saving steps when community members are in need. Often, our efforts are successful in saving lives as the first step in the healthcare process. But when all efforts to save that patient’s life have been exhausted, it’s heartwarming to know that the potential to save and heal others still exists through the miracle of organ and tissue donation through our partner, Donor Network West.”

– Reno Fire Department Chief, David Cochran

Dear Fire, EMS, and Program Coordinators,

As a California fire chief, 25-year paramedic, and living liver donor, I am honored to offer this landmark training on organ and tissue donation to you and your students. There is no financial gain to myself or any other organization from making this program available. Rather, we believe it satisfies a need among first responders to better understand our role in and the facts surrounding organ and tissue donation.

I am pleased to present the first known video training of its kind, “Keep Hope Alive.”  This is a training module created by first responders and clinicians to inform EMTs, paramedics and firefighters about what happens behind the scenes when they have done everything they can to save the life of a severely neurologically injured patient and they then go on to become an organ donor.

A survey of three major metropolitan fire agencies in California found that 89% had received no training on organ and tissue donation AND 89% wanted training on the subject and indicated they would be interested in an online course.

Points on the online training:

  • It’s FREE
  • Does not change protocol… it provides information
  • Available for classroom or individual student use. (Provides 1 hour of continuing education to those who sign on and take the test online accredited through California State University, Sacramento.)

Most importantly, this educational program can help save more lives through organ donation. More than 100,000 people in the United States are waiting for a lifesaving transplant; more than 10,000 of whom live in the area served by Donor Network West of Northern California and Nevada. The fact is, the vast majority of potential organ donors arrive at the hospital via emergency services transport.

I ask that you make this free online training available to your students:

Many trainers will present the video portion in class; others will give it as a homework assignment.  Copies of the Pre and Post Test, along with the Feedback, is included in this packet. Also attached is a copy of a very recent article on this training program, which was featured in California Professional Fire Fighter Magazine.

Thank you for helping us make this lifesaving educational opportunity available to your students.

It’s about giving life,
Dan Haverty
D.P.A. Fire Chief (Ret.)