IndyCARES increases survival rates and creates heroes out of everyday people.
Heroes are found everywhere; in all walks of life and in all places. There is one thing we know for sure, the world needs more heroes. As EMTs and paramedics, IEMS providers are trained to perform acts of heroism on a daily basis. From stopping blood loss, to reviving a victim of cardiac arrest, to administering life-saving treatment to someone experiencing an overdose, we are trained to think and react quickly to increase the chances for survival. In situations where quick actions are critical to success, EMS agencies worldwide are always looking for ways to provide lifesaving treatment faster, often before an ambulance can arrive on the scene. In order to do this, we must call on the general public to assist and provide them with the necessary equipment and knowledge to become heroes. The Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) placement program was part of the federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for public access AED placement and compression only CPR training. The goal of this program was to improve cardiac arrest survival in high risk areas around Marion County. Placement and training were managed by the IEMS IndyCARES division, which is committed to improving the survival rates of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.
Sites were selected throughout Marion County to receive AEDs based on location, access, number of persons served, and the current rate of cardiac arrest in the area over time. Locations included churches, homeless shelters, public memorials and community centers. “These were areas and populations at risk who now have the necessary tool to respond quickly to victims of cardiac arrest,” said Dr. Dan O’Donnell, IEMS medical director. The grant also provided for free adult compression only CPR training to those receiving the AED and the citizens in the surrounding area. In the training sessions citizens were taught when to call 911, how to recognize the signs of adult cardiac arrest, proper compression depth and rate, and AED placement and use. The program also brought new partnerships within Marion County further improving the chances for survival. Whenever someone called 911 Dispatch to report a cardiac arrest, the caller was informed of the location of an AED placed within a three block radius, ultimately leading to faster response times.
In 2016, 49 public access AED’s were placed in the Marion County area, 27 AED’s were placed in the squad cars of all IMPD officers who completed the EMT course and maintained their certifications, and two AED’s were placed in the response vehicles of the IEMS Tactical Emergency Medical Service (TEMS) members. Also, in 2016 the IndyCARES division trained 980 people in adult compression only CPR, empowering everyday citizens to perform extraordinary acts of heroism.