Annapolis Fire Chief David Stokes credits fast response times and highly trained Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel for the number of cardiac arrest victims that were saved in 2011.
The City’s First Responders and Paramedics responded to 29 cardiac arrests, eight of which were resuscitated, breathing and with a pulse when arriving at the hospital, where they were able to receive continued care.
Annapolis’ cardiac arrest save rate in 2011 was 27.5% compared to the state average rate of 13% and the national average of 7%.
Cardiac arrest is different from (but may be caused by) a heart attack, where blood flow to the muscle of the heart is impaired.
“Along with the fast response time and highly trained staff, I credit Annapolis citizens for quick alerting of the 911 system and effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for the high save rate,” Fire Chief Stokes said. “We have instructors that provide citizens the needed skills to extend the brief window of opportunity for a successful resuscitation.”
The Fire Department, in partnership with Anne Arundel Medical Center, will host a major CPR event which will take place in March. Updates on the specific location, date and time will be posted the Fire Department’s website at http://www.annapolis.gov/Government/Departments/FireDepartment.aspx.
Chief Stokes is also a strong proponent of the automated external defibrillator (AED), a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the cardiac symptoms of the patient. Annapolis has several located in City buildings and are working to get more located in the public sector.