The 30 minute presentation was made by Tom Colberg, the CEO of Cardiospark LLC, which has done integrated studies in The Villages in Florida comprising 16,000 homes, which operate a program called Neighbors Saving Neighbors. Volunteers within the neighborhood receive CPR and AED training, accessible AEDs are located in each neighborhood, the local 911 call centers share alerts noting the address of reported cardiac emergencies with volunteers. Available resident volunteers then respond and begin CPR and use an AED, if they arrive before EMS teams.
The program is 14 years old and has achieved an average volunteer response time of 90 seconds, compared to a EMS time of 7-8 minutes.
A study in the Springs in Green Valley, AZ community of 55+ development of 442 homes, was conducted by the Sarver Heart Center in Tucson. It is 3.3 miles away from the nearest fire station. It was selected as a good test of effectiveness of a volunteer program, in addition trials were conducted in parts of Green Valley closer to the assigned fire station.
The study was conducted to determine whether a coordinated effort of alerted trained neighborhood volunteers, simultaneously with 911 activation of professional EMS providers would provide earlier CPR and defibrillation in such communities.
Twenty mock cardiac arrest trials were conducted there and in other neighboring communities, for a total of 20 trials. In 12 of the 20 trials, volunteers were alerted to the mock event by text messages at the same time as the fire department. In four of the trials, only volunteers were alerted. All response times of all responders were observed and recorded.
Volunteers in the Springs in Green Valley took 1-3 minutes to respond to random mock events; the closest fire department took an average of 7.3 minutes to arrive at each mock emergencies. Please note, each trained volunteer was equipped with an AED. In a real emergency the estimation statistically estimated the possibility of a 240% increase in successful resuscitations from 25% to 85%. In mock events elsewhere in Green Valley, with same EMS distances, the EMS arrived first.
There are many aspects of the presentation, which included costs, training of volunteers, number of volunteers for the size of the community and data bases with all names and addresses of community residents. Noting that of 12 resident volunteers, there were a minimum of 3 that always showed before EMS.
An interface to the community aided dispatch CAD, system used by 911 call center will be implemented to enable the program to receive alerts to covered addresses and notify volunteers, by a text alert to their smart phones.
The creation of the RAIN program, which is the RESIDENTIAL AED INTEGRATED NETWORK, will tie this all together.
I have sent a photo of the summary chart and please note, that this presentation was made to an affluent east side community, who wishes to make their community HEART SAFE. The next step would have Tom Colberg make a presentation to my community, via the HOA board, if in fact there is adequate interest. In my community of 560 homes, the EMS is 1.2 miles away and their average response time is 5 minutes.
My personal plan is to contact Tom Colberg and have a one on one meeting, then speak to our HOA and management company to post a dissertation in our next news letter, to see the response. The doctors at the Sarver Heart Center are cardiologists and well known to me.
In conclusion, HEART SAFE COMMUNITIES can achieve much more rapid response times and save more lives in the communities, where 7/10 SCAs occur.
I have sent in a separate mailing the pertinent photos that were taken, which are few, since it was one presenter and a group of interested community residents. Included is Tom Colberg’s card and contact information, which might come in handy nationally.
Jay Goldman, MD FACP FCCP