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American Medical Response Teams Up with International Association of Fire Chiefs and ACEP to Save Sudden Cardiac Arrest Victims

WASHINGTON, D.C.—More than 350,000 Americans experience sudden cardiac arrest annually. Of those treated by EMS, only one in 10 survive. When a bystander performs CPR until EMS arrives, the odds of the victim surviving can triple.

To raise awareness and increase bystander CPR, American Medical Response (AMR), the nation’s largest provider of emergency medical services and medical transportation, today announced it is collaborating with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) for one of the largest bystander CPR trainings in history. During National EMS Week, May 21-27, the organizations will team up for the fifth annual World CPR Challenge with the goal of training one million people.

Driven by a passion to save lives, AMR, IAFC and ACEP will work together to train bystanders to assist in the “chain of survival” by recognizing the signs of sudden cardiac arrest and providing compression-only CPR until first responders arrive. Research shows that compression-only CPR (no mouth-to-mouth or rescue breathing) can increase survival rates for those suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. Frequent chest compressions move oxygenated blood through the body, keeping the brain and other organs alive until the heart can be restarted.

“Our crews care for more than 30,000 sudden cardiac arrest victims annually, and know firsthand how survival rates can double or triple when trained bystanders jump into action,” said Edward Van Horne, president and CEO of AMR. “Since we created the World CPR Challenge, we have trained nearly a quarter million bystanders in compression-only CPR—and that’s just the beginning. Our partnership with IAFC and ACEP will help us to greatly expand our reach as we continue educating citizens about how to save lives."

“A knowledgeable bystander can be the difference between life and death,” said Rebecca Parker, M.D., FACEP, president of ACEP. “EMS is critical, but it can take several minutes before emergency crews arrive on scene. In just those few minutes, a bystander can recognize sudden cardiac arrest, call 911 and perform chest compressions until emergency crews arrive. Learning compression-only CPR doesn’t require an all-day certification—bystanders can be trained and prepared to save a life in only three minutes.

“Local fire departments and AMR collectively provide first-response EMS to 90 percent of the U.S. population, and nearly 60 percent of all 911 transports,” said Chief John Sinclair, president of IAFC. “Layer on the incredible work of ACEP and we have a team of physicians and emergency response experts that can significantly increase the number of bystanders trained in CPR and, in turn, improve the survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest.”

Since kicking off the World CPR Challenge in 2013, AMR has seen bystander CPR double from 21 to 41 percent.

American Medical Response, Inc., America’s leading provider of medical transportation, provides services in 40 states and the District of Columbia. More than 25,000 AMR paramedics, EMTs, RNs and other professionals work together to transport more than 4.4 million patients nationwide each year in critical, emergency and non-emergency situations. AMR, a subsidiary of Envision Healthcare Corporation, is headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado. 

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is the national medical society representing emergency medicine. Through continuing education, research, public education, and advocacy, ACEP advances emergency care on behalf of its 40,000 emergency physician members, and the more than 150 million people they treat on an annual basis. For more information, visit www.acep.org and www.emergencyphysicians.org.

Contact: Steve Arnoff | sarnoff@acep.org | Twitter @EmergencyDocs

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