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MedStar introduces new CPR education program to help improve cardiac arrest survival

Adopts innovative telephone CPR quality improvement solution, marks first in Fort Worth

FORT WORTH, June 3, 2021

More 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 dedicated 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 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.

MedStar Mobile Healthcare (MedStar), the regional governmental agency that serves Fort Worth and 14 other member cities comprising the Metropolitan Area EMS Authority, recognizes the important role bystanders play in impacting out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival — with guided assistance from telecommunicators. That’s why Resuscitation Quality Improvement® Telecommunicator (RQI® -T) has been implemented to prepare telecommunicators to deliver high-quality telephone CPR. The agency recently launched RQI-T and has 32 employees enrolled in the program.

MedStar is the first PSAP in Fort Worth 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 program is co-developed by the American Heart Association, Laerdal Medical and the Resuscitation Academy Foundation and delivered by RQI Partners, the partnership between and service provider for the Association and Laerdal.

“A telecommunicator who effectively engages the caller, identifies the cardiac arrest, and coaches effective CPR could double or triple the chances of survival from sudden cardiac arrest. They are truly the FIRST, first responder,” said Joe Merry, communications center manager for MedStar. “Our collaboration with RQI Partners and adoption of RQI-T will help assure that MedStar’s 911 dispatchers are providing outstanding telephonic CPR instructions to on-scene family members or others who will then become bystanders/responders!”

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 lifesaving interventions. The simulation sessions are based on real-life emergency calls and provide immediate debriefing.

“We are pleased to work with MedStar Mobile Healthcare, an organization that shares our unwavering commitment to improving cardiac arrest survival rates,” said David LaCombe, RQI Partners’ vice president of prehospital programs. “Every second counts during cardiac arrest events — patients have 600 seconds before death becomes irreversible. RQI-T will position MedStar’s telecommunicators to competently, confidently and effectively provide high-quality telephone CPR to bystanders, empowering them as the first link in the chain of survival to help save more lives.”

In addition to the telephone CPR simulation sessions, MedStar will employ the RQI-T program to measure 100% of the cardiac arrest calls processed by the agency. This activity will provide telecommunicators and administrators with regular feedback on where to improve lifesaving medical dispatch.

To learn more about MedStar Mobile Healthcare, visit For information on the RQI-T program, visit


About MedStar Mobile Healthcare

The Metropolitan Area EMS Authority, known as MedStar, is the exclusive emergency and non-emergency ambulance service provider to 15 Tarrant County cities, including Blue Mound, Burleson, Edgecliff Village, Forest Hill, Fort Worth, Haltom City, Haslet, Lakeside, Lake Worth, River Oaks, Saginaw, Sansom Park, Westover Hills, Westworth Village, and White Settlement.

MedStar is a governmental administrative agency that provides advanced life support ambulance service to 436 square miles and more than 1 million residents in Tarrant County and responds to over 155,000 emergency calls a year with a fleet of 65 ambulances.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

About Laerdal Medical 

Laerdal is dedicated to our mission of helping save lives. For more than 60 years, Laerdal has remained a world leader in health care education, training and therapy solutions. Laerdal develops products, programs and digital solutions designed to increase survival and improve patient outcomes. By implementing evidence-based solutions within the areas of resuscitation, patient safety and global health, we address the changing needs of health care organizations and help build competence of health care providers, educators and lay rescuers. Together with our partners, we believe we can help save one million more lives, every year. Laerdal is a global company in 25 countries worldwide with the head office located in Stavanger, Norway. For more information, visit

About the Resuscitation Academy Foundation

The Resuscitation Academy Foundation’s mission is to increase survival from sudden cardiac arrest. Rooted in public health and academic medicine and emergency medical services, our programs are offered freely and based in science and decades of experience. To increase our reach, we partner with the American Heart Association and Laerdal Medical and work together to develop lifesaving programs.

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 and resuscitation education 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.