Lifeguard Ambulance a Proud Participant In National Cardiac Program


Data will help improve cardiac arrest outcomes for Santa Rosa County residents

Lifeguard Ambulance Service, part of the Global Medical Response family of companies, is working to improve cardiac arrest survival rates in the Florida Panhandle. Dana Thrower, Lieutenant with Lifeguard Ambulance Service, said Lifeguard, along with the Santa Rosa County 911 dispatchers and area hospitals, is proud to participate in CARES – Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival. CARES helps communities measure performance and identify how to improve cardiac arrest survival rates.

“It’s a three-part system,” Thrower said. “Each year there are more than 300,000 people who experience cardiac arrest outside of the hospital environment, and many do not survive. Working together with Santa Rosa County 911 dispatchers and our hospitals, we’ll be able to see the number of unexpected cardiac arrests, extract data and work together to improve survivability."

Patients have a much higher chance of recovery – and a better quality of life – when CPR is administered by someone who witnesses the cardiac event, whether that’s a family member, a friend, or a witness. Thrower said it is imperative that CPR begin as soon as possible.

“It all starts with our dispatchers, and they are highly trained to help identify a cardiac event and provide CPR instructions to the person who called 911,” she said. “Dispatchers have the person on the phone start hands-only CPR. They stay with them, count with them and coach them through it, and they give positive reinforcement until we arrive.”

Thrower said in the past, a lot of people were hesitant to give CPR in the field.

“It’s all about getting those chest compressions started early,” she said. “There is no mouth-to-mouth any more. Right now, Santa Rosa County leads the state with the number of bystanders willing to do CPR. In the last 6-12 months, I don’t remember coming to a cardiac arrest where I haven’t seen someone performing hands-only CPR.”

Lifeguard Ambulance Service Captain Lance Vincent performing hands-only CPR during CARES training. Photo courtesy of Lifeguard Ambulance Service.