Acknowledging the important role bystanders play in impacting cardiac arrest survival, with guided assistance from telecommunicators, Johnson County Emergency Management and Communications implemented Resuscitation Quality Improvement® Telecommunicator (RQI-T) last August to prepare telecommunicators to deliver high-quality telephone CPR. RQI-T is co-developed by the American Heart Association, Laerdal Medical and the Resuscitation Academy Foundation and delivered by RQI Partners.
Serving both Johnson and Miami Counties, Johnson County Emergency Management and Communications manages countywide emergency communications systems and dispatch services and is responsible for processing emergency and non-emergency calls for assistance received on E911 (Enhanced 911) and 10-digit telephone lines.
RQI Partners and the Resuscitation Academy Foundation recognized EMC as a “Resuscitation Trailblazer.” The award, presented April 12, signifies Johnson County Emergency Management and Communications’ commitment to improving telephone CPR practices and increasing cardiac arrest survival.
“Johnson County Emergency Management and Communications achieved the distinction as the first agency in Kansas to implement RQI-T,” said David LaCombe, vice president of prehospital programs at RQI Partners. “This milestone signaled the agency’s belief in the program’s efficacy and its resolve to leverage new resources and technology to help save more lives from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. RQI Partners and the Resuscitation Academy Foundation salute Johnson County Emergency Management and Communications for demonstrating leadership and taking a stand in how their telecommunicators are trained and prepared to respond to cardiac arrest events.”
Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening condition with about a 10-minute life expectancy without immediate CPR from a bystander. With emergency medical service providers, on average, arriving on scene in seven minutes following a 911 call, the chance of survival significantly improves when public safety answering point telecommunicators guide callers on how to perform CPR.
Johnson County Emergency Management and Communications’ telecommunicators managed more than 60,000 calls in 2020, with many being CPR-related. RQI-T has helped elevate the effectiveness of high-quality telephone CPR instructions conveyed to bystanders, empowering them as the first link in the chain of survival. A blended educational and resuscitation quality improvement program, RQI-T provides continuous, simulation-based mastery learning, practice and analytics to telecommunicators for delivery of high-quality telephone CPR to bystanders.
Since implementing the program, the agency’s leadership has seen improvement in telecommunicator confidence and CPR competence when answering cardiac arrest calls, one of the most serious types of emergency calls.
“Every second counts during cardiac arrest events,” said Ellen Wernicke, director at Johnson County Emergency Management and Communications. “The RQI-T program has helped us ensure that our telecommunicators have the confidence, skills and competence to effectively and efficiently deliver high-quality telephone CPR. It can mean the difference between a life saved or a life lost. We are honored to be applauded as a ‘Resuscitation Trailblazer’ and look forward to continued collaboration with RQI Partners, its parent organizations, the American Heart Association and Laerdal Medical, and the Resuscitation Academy to increase cardiac arrest survival.”