Emergency Cardiovascular Care

Cardiovascular disease, including cardiovascular emergencies, is the leading cause of death in Montana. The ECVC program works to strengthen the system of care within the state to improve outcomes from CV emergencies including Heart Attack, Stroke and Cardiac Arrest.

Specific Projects within the Program include: Improving bystander recognition and activation through the Cardiac Ready Communities project; registering public-access AEDs; strengthening emergency care response by training dispatchers, law enforcement, EMS providers and emergency department staff; recognizing programs for high-functioning systems; data collection for quality improvement (QI) initiatives; and informing all stakeholders of progress and challenges in the system.

For more information contact Janet Trethewey (406) 444-0442.

Becoming a Cardiac Ready Community
Montana is partnering with the Citizen CPR Foundation to help communities become cardiac ready. Please visit their website to get started https://citizencpr.org/heartsafe/.

Other Resources:
Resuscitation Academy 
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation
Take Heart America 
Project Adam

The Cardiac Alliance is a “group of groups” all focused on some aspect of Emergency Cardiovascular Care: prevention, recognition, treatment, and rehabilitation. Representatives from a wide variety of organizations meet quarterly to discuss the projects they are working on, issues needing to be addressed, and ways to support each other in their missions.

For more information or to join the Alliance, contact Janet Trethewey or Mike McNamara at DPHHS.

Gallatin Heart Rescue was formed after a miraculous cardiac arrest save in July of 2011 by a bystander initiating CPR. Gallatin Heart Rescue is a product of two EMTs, Kevin Lauer and Mike Pasque, who responded to that emergency. Mike and Kevin recognized the impact early bystander CPR had on the outcome of this call and wanted to increase the number of community members trained in compression-only CPR. 

In 2016, Gallatin Heart Rescue became part of the Montana Cardiac Ready Communities Program. Other than a name change to Montana Heart Rescue, the mission is still the same: "To increase the rate of survival from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) within Montana by increasing the rates of bystander CPR through direct involvement in the community." The Cardiac Ready Communities Program continues the work started in 2011 by incorporating CPR trainings in each county across Montana.

If you would like more information or to request a class please contact Janet Trethewey or Mike McNamara.


Public Access Defibrillation Program Registration

  1. Click to register your AED and follow the steps. Be sure to complete the other tasks listed below.
  2. A requirement of registration is to notify the local ambulance service and the local dispatch center about your program. 
  3. The requirement for a medical supervisor has changed. The medical directory for DPHHS will be the supervisor of the record for all devices. Device usage reports will be reviewed by the medical director and/or designees within the DPHHS for feedback and QI purposes.
  4. Regular maintenance is required as AED united do not always stay charged, batteries and AED pads expire. AED checks (generally no less than monthly) are an important element of your operations. Keep records of all maintenance performed. 
  5. A written plan outlining AED use, maintenance and trained users must be developed and maintained. Assurance that the plan has been developed and implemented is recorded with DPHHS. Find examples of written plans on the MMIA website
  6. An electronic incident report is required each time and AED is attached to a patient. In the event and AED is used (pads placed on a patient), you need to file a report with DPHHS. 

Once and AED is used, complete this Qualtrics Survey to fill out a report. 

Benefits of Registration

Registration helps entities be successful by assuring the entity is integrated with dispatch and EMS response, people are trained to use the AED, the AEDs are maintained and in working order, and medical oversight is in place to assure patients receive the best care possible. 

An important benefit for registered entities is that Montana law provides liability protections and immunity from civil liability to:

  • An individual who provides emergency care or treatment by using an AED
  • An individual providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation to an individual upon whom an AED is or may be used
  • The entity responsible for the AED program 
  • An individual providing training to others on the use of an AED


AED program contact information for questions and assistance:
Janet Trethewey
(406) 444-0442 

AED Trooper Photo

AED Player Photo