Carrollton Fire Rescue (CFR) has set a goal to increase the level of care for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients and achieve the highest survival rates in the country.
To help the department reach that goal, Metrocrest Hospital Authority (MHA) has awarded CFR with more than $40,000 to initiate a Resuscitation Quality Improvement program, which offers not only advanced CPR training, but technology that indicates how well CPR is being performed and what corrective action needs to be taken.
“While Carrollton Fire Rescue has several programs in place for initial CPR training, the department will use the MHA grant to improve the proficiency of performing CPR. The funds will allow us to establish CPR competence skills stations at two Carrollton fire facilities that will measure the depth of compressions, rate of compressions and percentage of time in which compressions are performed. In order to maximize the outcomes from CPR, these three metrics must be performed accurately,” said Carrollton Fire Chief Gregg Salmi. “The two competence skills stations will consist of a half mannequin on a cart with a computer screen to guide the participant through a simulated CPR. After the participant performs CPR, they will receive immediate feedback and be provided an opportunity to correct any deficiencies.”
“The most critical time of a cardiac arrest is between the time when a person suffers the arrest and the time fire and rescue teams arrive on scene to perform advanced care,” said Charles Heath, MHA CEO. “In order to increase cardiac arrest survival rates, we must create programs that both improve CPR competency and engage partners in the community to administer quality CPR prior to the fire and rescue team’s arrival. The Resuscitation Quality Improvement program will assess the CPR performance of Carrollton’s firefighters, paramedics and police officers, as well as those of other city employees who may be able to be on-scene before fire and rescue arrives.” Ultimately, CFR would like to have the CPR competence skills stations at all of its fire stations and open the training program to all city residents.
The Resuscitation Quality Improvement program builds upon initiatives Carrollton already has in place. Last year, CFR launched Pulse Point, an app citizens and city employees can download for free that will alert them of a cardiac arrest incident within 1200 feet of their location. The app will actually map them to the person in need. The department is working to get all city employees on this app as many of them will have the training to respond immediately to cardiac emergencies.
Additionally, Carrollton Fire Rescue’s current CPR program also includes a robust CPR and Automated External Defibrillators (AED) training program in CFBISD schools, teaching thousands of kids a year CPR/AED. The department also offers citizen and business CPR/AED programs.
MHA is well-known for its community philanthropic efforts. In 2020, for example, MHA donated a total of $2 million to 10 local organizations: American Heart Association, Bridge Breast Network, Children's Advocacy Center of Denton, Children's Medical Center Foundation, Communities in Schools, The Concilio, Essilor Vision Foundation, Metrocrest Services, PediPlace and Woven Health Clinic.
MHA also recently donated a LUCAS Chest Compression System, which provides mechanical chest compressions, to the Addison Fire Department. That medical device recently aided in saving the life of a man who had collapsed at a local service station. Afterward, five Addison firefighter/paramedics received the department’s AFD Phoenix Award for their efforts in treating the victim. The system that MHA provided is more effective than manually providing compression because it continues compressions even as the patient is moved to an ambulance and while riding in the ambulance. Since 2017 MHA has provided grants totaling more than $450,000 to Addison, Carrollton and Farmers Branch for this type of equipment.