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Cardiac Ready Communities Program

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June 7, 2016

Contact:  Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936

                Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391


DPHHS Emergency Medical Services Cardiac Ready Communities Program to host 2017 Resuscitation Academy

Heart attack survivor to speak at 8:15 a.m., Thursday


The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Cardiac Ready Communities Program is hosting the 2017 Resuscitation Academy Thursday, June 8 to Friday, June 9 at the St. Peter’s Hospital Education Center in Helena.

The Resuscitation Academy focuses on the art & science of improving Cardiac Arrest Survival in Montana. Presentations are made by leading experts in cardiology, EMS and other support areas.

The Academy will also include a talk by a heart attack survivor. Chuck Murray had a cardiac arrest while exercising at a Helena workout facility in late April. Fortunately, he was resuscitated by bystanders doing CPR and using an AED. Chuck and the two rescuers will speak Thursday, June 8 at about 8:15 a.m.

The Academy is open to all EMS providers, hospital providers (physicians, nurses and PAs or NPs) as well as law enforcement and fire service personnel. 

According to DPHHS officials, survival from cardiac arrest requires the activation of the Cardiac Chain of Survival and having every link in the chain be complete and connected to the next.

“Failure of a link, or even having a weak link, will result in poor outcomes for the patient,” said Cardiac Ready Communities program manager Janet Trethewey. “Creating a strong Cardiac Chain of Survival requires a commitment by the entire community to become prepared for such an emergency.”

Trethewey said currently in Montana only 8-10 % of people who suffer from a cardiac arrest survive. Further, only half of people who suffer an out-of-hospital arrest receive bystander CPR.  And, as one might expect, over 70% of all cardiac arrests happen at home or at work, not in a hospital.

Trethewey said there are plenty of improvements to be made, but Montana is showing progress through the Cardiac Ready Communities program. For example, in Gallatin County if an individual suffers a cardiac arrest, 62% of the time someone starts bystander CPR. Survival from a cardiac arrest in that part of Montana is about 25%, which is five times the national average.

Trethewey credits Gallatin County for working hard to strengthen each link in the Cardiac Chain of Survival. “Every community in Montana can improve their survival rates,” she said. “Rural areas as well as more urban areas can make changes to increase the chances of survival.”

The Cardiac Ready Communities Program focuses on:

  •   Strengthening the Cardiac Chain of Survival
  •   Developing a state-wide Cardiac System of Care
  •   Teaching individuals how they can improve their community’s response to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Who: Cardiac Ready Communities Program, EMS & Trauma Systems, MT DPHHS

What: 2017 Resuscitation Academy: Cardiac Survival on the Frontier

When: Thursday, June 8 and Friday, June 9

Where:  Education Center, St. Peter’s Hospital, Helena, MT