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Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District implements new program to help improve out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates in local community

District is first in the U.S. to adopt innovative program that prepares public safety telecommunicators to provide telephone CPR

HELENS, Ore., October 22, 2019More than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States annually, according to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives. Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening condition with about a 10-minute life expectancy without immediate CPR from a bystander. With emergency medical service (EMS) providers, on average, arriving on scene in seven minutes following a 9-1-1 call, the chance of survival significantly improves when Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) telecommunicators guide callers on how to perform CPR.

Columbia 9-1-1- Communications District, the sole Public Safety 9-1-1 Answering Point and dispatch center for all public safety agencies based in Columbia County, recognizes the important role bystanders, with guided assistance from telecommunicators, play in impacting cardiac arrest survival. That’s why RQI-T, Resuscitation Quality Improvement® Telecommunicator, co-developed by the American Heart Association, Laerdal Medical and the Resuscitation Academy Foundation and delivered by RQI Partners, has been  implemented to prepare telecommunicators to deliver high-quality telephone CPR.

Columbia 9-1-1- Communications District is the first PSAP in the United States to adopt RQI-T, a blended educational and resuscitation quality improvement program that provides continuous, simulation-based mastery learning, practice and analytics to telecommunicators for delivery of high-quality telephone CPR to bystanders. The district has 16 employees enrolled in the program.

“It is our strong belief that by partnering with known industry leaders who have a solid and proven track record, coupled with our laser focus on improving performance on cardiac arrest calls, one of the most critical types of 9-1-1 calls, we can reap the RQI-T program benefits for all of the calls we take,” said Mike Fletcher, executive director at Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District.

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a time-critical, life-threatening condition that requires peak, high-quality performance. Research shows that continuous resuscitation training for telecommunicators can lead to a significant increase in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates and is essential to performing high-quality telephone CPR. RQI-T is delivered through “low-dose, high-frequency” telephone CPR simulation sessions, in 45 minutes every 90 days, and designed to improve telecommunicators’ ability to rapidly identify a cardiac arrest and initiate life-saving interventions.

“We are pleased to work with Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District, an organization that shares our commitment to improving cardiac arrest survival rates, in bringing RQI-T to its telecommunicators and enhancing the larger community’s well-being,” said Clive Patrickson, RQI Partners’ chief executive officer. “Together, we are positioning their telecommunicators to provide high-quality telephone CPR to bystanders, empowering them as the first link in the chain of survival to help save lives.”

Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District’s goal for a quality assurance and improvement program has now been achieved with the adoption of RQI-T. In addition to the telephone CPR simulation sessions, the RQI-T program measures 100% of the cardiac arrest calls processed by the district, providing telecommunicators and administrators with regular feedback on where to improve life-saving medical dispatch. The combination of education and quality improvement activities is expected to yield greater opportunities to save more lives.

To learn more about Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District or RQI-T, visit or



About RQI Partners, LLC

RQI Partners LLC is a partnership between the American Heart Association and Laerdal Medical, positioning the organizations to deliver innovative solutions that accelerate the impact of their lifesaving mission. The company blends the Association’s leadership in science with Laerdal’s expertise in technology and implementation to deliver impactful and innovative resuscitation quality improvement programs. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

About Laerdal Medical

Laerdal Medical, one of the world’s leading providers of healthcare solutions, is dedicated to helping save lives with products and services for Simulation, Airway Management, Immobilization, Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support, Patient Care, Self-Directed Learning and Medical Education. Laerdal is pleased to serve all healthcare providers and educators, from the lay rescuer to medical professionals. Laerdal operates sales and support offices in 23 countries worldwide, and with the head office located in Stavanger, Norway. For more information, visit or call 1-877-523-7325.

About Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District

The Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District was formed in 1989, consolidating emergency communications performed by individual agencies under one special district. Governed by a board of directors representing five geographic zones within Columbia County, Ore., the district is the sole public safety 9-1-1 answering point and dispatch center for all public safety agencies based in Columbia County. The district provides 9-1-1 call-taking, dispatching and nonemergency communications services for seven law enforcement agencies and five fire districts, including emergency medical dispatch for four fire district-owned ambulance services and one private ambulance.

Media Contact:

Lara Marzilli, Operations Manager; 503-366-6978;

Mike Fletcher, Executive Director; 503-366-6971;