A Healthier Wisconsin

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
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 so that 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
  • System resulted in an increase of the countywide bystander CPR rate from 19% to 52%, and an increase in the countywide cardiac arrest survival rate from 10% to 19%
  • Developed infrastructure, training materials, and protocols needed to implement and maintain system, including development of a training program for dispatcher-assisted CPR and a training to equip agency leaders with the ability 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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8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
(414) 955-4350