Survey of resuscitation practices at emergency medical service agencies in the U.S

CARES Surveillance Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) varies across emergency medical service (EMS) agencies. Yet, little is known about resuscitation response and quality improvement activities at EMS agencies. We describe herein a novel survey to EMS agencies in a U.S. registry for OHCA. Methods: Using data from the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES), we identified 577 EMS agencies with ≥10 OHCA cases annually between 2015 and 2019 that remained active in CARES. We administered a survey to EMS directors regarding agency characteristics, cardiac arrest response, relationships with first responders and dispatchers, quality improvement activities and perceived barriers in the community. Results: Of eligible EMS agencies, 470 (81.5%) completed the survey. The high completion rate was likely due to frequent personalized emails and phone calls, liaising with CARES state coordinators to encourage survey response, and multiple periodic drawings of an automated external defibrillator during the survey period for participating EMS agencies. The survey examined rates of resuscitation training modalities; use of resuscitation equipment and devices in the field; frequency of simulation; non-EMS stakeholder response to OHCA (dispatchers, fire, police); quality improvement; and community factors affecting bystander response to OHCA. Conclusions: In this study design paper on the RED-CASO survey, we provide summary data on EMS agency characteristics in the U.S. Upon linkage to CARES patient-level data, this survey will provide critical insights into ‘best practices’ at EMS agencies with the highest OHCA survival rates as well as provide insights into current disparities in outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100483
JournalResuscitation Plus
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac arrest
  • EMS
  • Outcomes
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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