Provided by Prince William Fire & Rescue
On June 13, the Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue received the 2018 Northern Virginia EMS Council award for Outstanding EMS Agency. The award was based on the department’s accomplishments with the implementation of the Witnessed Cardiac Resuscitation Improvement Program, which addressed the following program areas:
- Data Collection
- Public Safety Access Point (PSAP) call processing and Pre-arrival instructions
- High Performance Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (HPCPR)
The department began collecting comprehensive data on cardiac arrest in 2014. Armed with reliable data on cardiac arrest resuscitations and outcomes, the department designed a plan to improve the survival rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.
Public Safety Access Point
Data on call processing time and time to first compression was captured. Department of Fire and Rescue personnel worked with Public Safety Communications Center (PSCC) to identify methods to reduce time to dispatch and time to first compression. A new “All Callers Interrogation” was developed for the County’s Emergency Medical Dispatch program, reducing the number of questions asked and the
information required prior to forwarding the call for dispatch. CPR Pre-arrival instructions were created for all age ranges; these instructions would now be provided to the caller by the Call Taker.
In addition, a comprehensive training program was developed to train all PSCC personnel on use of the new interrogations and guide cards. The new procedures were initiated in May.
High Performance Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (HPCPR)
The department designed a comprehensive High Performance CPR (HPCPR) training program. The success of HPCPR’s performance is dependent upon continuous and effective chest compressions while additional treatments are administered to the cardiac arrest victim. HPCPR is not a new procedure or guideline, it’s a way of applying the current CPR guidelines more effectively. “HPCPR is designed to improve the overall survival rate of people who have sudden cardiac arrest; the single greatest cause of
death in the U.S.” states Chief McGee. “HPCPR is based on a team approach with defined roles and responsibilities; often described as a choreographed dance where teamwork and communication are essential.”
To date, 84 HPCPR classes have been instructed. Of those, 1,139 EMS providers have been instructed in the resuscitation techniques. The classes have been shared with personnel throughout the Commonwealth.
HPCPR is a systematic change in the treatment and management of cardiac arrest victims based on research and practices used in many high performance EMS systems across the country. “The Prince William County Fire & Rescue System is now a part of that high performance system,” states Chief McGee. “It enables us to enhance the quality of care we provide our residents in a more efficient and effective manner.”