Training that saves lives: MFD teams up with Admirals, Aurora, Milwaukee Co. EMS for hands-only CPR initiative

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — All 13 Milwaukee County Fire Departments, in conjunction with partnerships with the Milwaukee Admirals, Aurora Health Care and Milwaukee County EMS are kicking off a countywide hands-only CPR initiative. It’s an effort that will be announced during a press conference Thursday, March 5th.

According to the American Heart Association, nearly 383,000 people suffer out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest nationwide each year. More than 88% of these cardiac arrests occur at home. While resuscitation rates continue to rise with advances in scientific research, there is great room for improvement in the rate of bystanders willing to initiate CPR when witnessing someone suffer cardiac arrest. It has been proven that in the first minutes of cardiac arrest, action is crucial. In Milwaukee County, bystander CPR is in place only about 20% of the time when first responders arrive.

The hands-only CPR initiative is aimed at improving bystander CPR rates and patient outcomes. A similar hands-only CPR program in the Fort Worth, Texas area saw an improvement in bystander CPR rates from around 25% to more than 75% following implementation. This resulted in an overall increase in successful resuscitations and ultimately more patients being discharged from the hospital with little to no lingering deficit.

On March 8th, Milwaukee law enforcement officers will take on Milwaukee firefighters at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in a “Battle of the Badges” game beginning at 11:30 a.m. Following this game, guests are welcome to stay and watch as the Milwaukee Admirals take on the Oklahoma City Barons at 4:00 p.m.

Before and during both games, everyone in attendance is encouraged to stop at one of the various tables located throughout the arena to be trained in hands-only CPR. The training is being provided by fire department staff and nearly 100 volunteers from Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee County EMS, the Hunger Task Force and Walgreens.

Later this year, hands-only CPR bins will be distributed to every Milwaukee County fire station.

The bins will include a training DVD, an automatic external defibrillator trainer (AED Trainer) and a CPR mannequin and will be available for check-out so that anyone can train their family, friends or neighbors in the comfort of their own home.

A press conference is planned for 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center to announce this hands-only CPR initiative.