Yamhill Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Release
Making A Difference -- 9-1-1 Dispatcher Assisted CPR Continues During Pandemic (Photo) - 05/22/20

9-1-1 Dispatchers are known as America’s first, first responders – and the American Heart Association (AHA) has recognized the difference a dispatcher can make during a cardiac arrest event. According to the AHA, each year an estimated 350,000 sudden cardiac arrest events occur in the United States outside of a hospital environment. Almost all of these events result in a call for help to 9-1-1.

Telecommunicators are a critical link in the cardiac arrest chain of survival. In fact, the AHA issued a performance recommendation that calls for the first dispatcher-assisted chest compression to occur less than 120 seconds from the time the address is acquired and verified during a 9-1-1 call.
Through focused training and continuing education, Yamhill Communications Agency (YCOM) has been reinforcing critical time windows for CPR saves with dispatch staff – and early data shows it’s paying off.

In 2019, as an organization YCOM averaged 125 seconds to get hands-on-chest during applicable medical calls. In the first quarter of 2020, data shows the time-frame dropped to an average 98 seconds – and in March, Emergency Communications Specialist Kara Garcia had her caller performing CPR within a whopping 58 seconds into the call for help. She was recognized for her outstanding performance last month during National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.

YCOM’s Medical Director, Dr. John Heiser has always been a proponent of community education for AHA’s Hands-Only CPR and the American College of Surgeons Stop the Bleed campaign. Dispatcher assistance and bystander intervention directly impact the outcomes and survival rates of pre-hospital emergencies. Situations like the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to hesitation for bystanders to intervene. YCOM’s CPR instruction used to include advising the caller to provide rescue breaths. Under Dr. Heiser’s guidance, the organization has switched to Hands-Only CPR instruction. Callers are not asked to breathe for persons in cardiac arrest - but continue to receive help while performing chest compressions. “I cannot express how important these programs are. We have to figure out how to safely continue them in a COVID era. It’s more complicated, but we can do it together” said Heiser.

Attached Media Files: karagarcia
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