San Ramon Valley Fire’s Sudden Cardiac Arrest Save Rates Among the Best in the Nation

The San Ramon Valley may be one of the safest places to experience a cardiac emergency in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, stroke and other heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States. Recent data has shown that patients who experience sudden cardiac arrest are far more  likely to survive if that episode occurs in the San Ramon Valley.
 
Nationally, if you experience a sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital setting, your chances of surviving hovers around 8.5 percent. Here in the San Ramon Valley your chance of survival is two times higher at 17.9 percent. Valley residents have an even greater occurrence of survival if someone witnesses their cardiac emergency and their heart is able to be shocked by an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), in this scenario the likelihood of survival increases to 46.9 percent versus 26.3 percent nationwide.
 
“We are very proud of our cardiac arrest survival statistics,” said Fire Chief Paige Meyer. “We attribute our success to many factors including our 911 Communication Center who utilizes Emergency Medical Dispatching (EMD), our rigorous paramedic training program, state of the art equipment on all our fire engines and ambulances, and our community outreach program that teaches hands-only CPR to over 2000 residents each year.”
 
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District who provides advanced emergency medical services to the communities of Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, Diablo, San Ramon and the Tassajara Valley is passionate about cardiac care.
 
“As a sudden cardiac arrest survivor and advocate for bystander CPR and AED use, I know the importance of rapid quality care,” said Joe Farrell, Danville resident.  “I am proud to live in a community that takes such pride in their level of patient care and I rest easy at night knowing I’m safer simply because I live here.”
 
San Ramon Valley Firefighter/Paramedics are also equipped with the newest state of the art tool that could make cardiac care even stronger throughout the District.
 
Over the past couple months, Firefighter/Paramedics have been training and using the new LIFEPAK 15 cardiac monitors.  These cardiac monitors are an essential tool when responding to advanced life support (ALS) calls. Similar to what you would see in an emergency room, cardiac monitors perform 12-lead EKG readings that help Firefighter/Paramedics determine the most appropriate treatment. The cardiac monitors function as defibrillators, blood pressure monitors, and oxygen saturation monitors.  While the Fire District has been using similar monitors for the past eight years, the new LIFEPACK 15 now has the capability to wirelessly transmit the patient’s current medical condition directly to the emergency room. This information will allow hospitals time to prepare the most appropriate medical team and treatment for the patient upon arrival.
 
The purchase of the LIFEPAK 15 monitors were part of a grant awarded to Contra Costa County EMS as part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants program (AFG).

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