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A centralized system for providing dispatcher assisted CPR instructions to 9-1-1 callers at multiple municipal public safety answering points. Resuscitation 2019 Sep;142:46-49



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85069618953 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   4 Citations


BACKGROUND: Dispatcher CPR instruction increases the odds of survival. However, many communities do not provide this lifesaving intervention, often citing the barriers of limited personnel, funding, and liability.

OBJECTIVE: Describe the implementation of a novel centralized dispatcher CPR instruction program that serves seven public safety answering points (PSAPs).

METHODS: Seven municipal PSAPs that did not previously provide dispatcher instructions implemented our program. Using a 30-min self-directed video, 84 PSAP dispatchers were trained to utilize a two-question protocol to identify and transfer suspected out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) cases to a central communication center. At this central communication center, a trained communicator delivered CPR instructions to the caller. The 26 central communicators were trained with a 2-h in-person didactic session followed by a 2-h practice session. We collected and analyzed data from recordings of communicator-to-caller interactions.

RESULTS: 169 calls were transferred to the central communication center. Of those, 106 needed CPR instructions and 56 of those callers performed chest compressions (53%). The county-wide EMS documented bystander CPR rate was 20% the prior year. The 63 remaining transferred calls were non-OHCA calls. Of the calls where CPR was needed and performed, 11 victims survived to hospital discharge (20%); the countywide survival rate was 12%.

CONCLUSIONS: Using a central communication center for instructions allowed us to train and maintain a smaller group of communicators, leading to less cost and more experience for those communicators, while limiting the burden on PSAP dispatchers.

Author List

Lerner EB, Farrell BM, Colella MR, Sternig KJ, Westrich C, Cady CE, Liu JM


Mario R. Colella DO, MPH Professor in the Emergency Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Jason M. Liu MD Professor in the Emergency Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Consumer Health Information
Emergency Medical Dispatcher
Emergency Medical Service Communication Systems
Needs Assessment
Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest
Quality Improvement