Increasing Cardiac Arrest Survival in Milwaukee County

Providing quality CPR instructions to 911 callers in Milwaukee County

Full Project Name:Increasing Cardiac Arrest Survival in Milwaukee County Through Dispatcher-Assisted Bystander CPRPrimary Community Organization:Milwaukee County EMSPrimary Academic Partner:E. Brooke Lerner, MD, Emergency MedicineAward Amount:$229,299
Award Date
January2015
Project Duration:30 months

Project Description Narrative:


In Milwaukee County, only 10% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients survive. Survival increases with bystander CPR. However, in Milwaukee, bystander CPR is attempted on only 19% of cardiac arrest victims. When 911 dispatchers give CPR instructions, bystander CPR rates can double. But only three of 19 municipalities in Milwaukee County offer CPR instructions.

This program will aim to increase bystander CPR rates by establishing a system that assures quality CPR instructions are provided to 911 callers. Municipal 911 call centers (PSAP) will transfer callers to the Milwaukee County EMS Communication Center (EMSCom) to receive CPR instructions.

Community partners:

American Heart Association, EMS Council, Fire Chiefs' Association, Milwaukee area 911 call centers

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:


• Established dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR system. As of April 22, 2016, regardless of where a caller is in Milwaukee County, any caller reporting someone with cardiac arrest symptoms will have access to step-by-step CPR instructions

• Developed infrastructure, training materials, and protocols needed to implement and maintain system

• Developed training program for dispatcher CPR and trained agency leaders to provide future trainings
• Trained all Milwaukee County and Greenfield dispatchers to provide pre-arrival CPR instructions

• Presented poster on program at 24th Annual Emergency Medicine Research Forum on April 14, 2016 and MCW Community Engagement Week on April 22, 2016

•Presented project and transfer rates from Public-Safety Access Points to Milwaukee County Fire Chiefs

•Presented project at AHW Endowment's PSE Change Symposium in April 2017

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