The care provided by First Responders to a known or suspected out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) victim plays a key role in the outcome of the patient. Working in practiced conjunction with 911 dispatch centers (PSAP: Public Safety Answering Point) and the receiving emergency center, Medical First Responders, EMT’s, and Paramedics provide the initial assessment and treatment for cardiac arrest.


EMS care is enhanced and provides increased chance of survival when provided within a system that provides:

  • Lay public that is trained to recognize cardiac arrest, provides by-stander CPR, and utilizes an AED that is available in the community

  • Trained Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMD) which provide timely and practiced pre-arrival instructions to the caller including CPR instructions

  • Emergency centers that follow the latest trends in cardiac resuscitation care and work cooperatively with EMS and in-house cardiovascular services to move appropriate patients without delay to coronary revascularization services


While much of the training, protocols, and infrastructure to accomplish these goals are in place, there remains significant opportunity for improvements in each area, and are identified through identifying and describing best practices.