Lincoln receives recognition for outstanding cardiac arrest response

Lincoln Fire & Rescue
Lincoln Fire & Rescue(Ryan Swanigan (KOLN))
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 2:28 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - On Tuesday, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and Lincoln Fire and Rescue officials announced Lincoln received the Lighthouse Community designation for its outstanding cardiac arrest response.

The Lighthouse Community designation from the Resuscitation Academy was given out to only 10 locations in the country operating at the highest life-saving level and Lincoln was the only city in the Midwest to receive it.

“The Lighthouse designation is the result of our strong investments in public safety, the dedication of our first responders and medical professionals, and the altruism of Lincoln residents, who play a crucial role in the chain of survival through bystander CPR,” Mayor Gaylor Baird said.

Aaron Pospisil, LFR Battalion Chief, said the Seattle-based Resuscitation Academy works with emergency medical service providers and leaders, as well as community and elected officials, to help communities worldwide strengthen their cardiac arrest survival rates through the Lighthouse Program. This recognition enables LFR to serve as a resource for other communities that want to improve their cardiac arrest survival rates.

To earn the Lighthouse designation, Lighthouse Communities must embody the 10 steps to achieve Lighthouse designation. The criteria includes providing low-dose, high-frequency high-performance-CPR and telecommunicator-CPR training; providing regular and non-punitive feedback to first responders; entering data into a registry; dedication to continual improvement and committing to help other communities improve.

“This designation would not be possible without the complete chain of survival; early detection of cardiac arrest and 911 activation, by-stander CPR, dispatch aided CPR instruction, and early intervention by our hospital partners,” LFR Fire Chief Dave Engler said. “Ongoing attention to performance, development of community relationships, and continual improvement will result in maintaining one of the best performing EMS systems in the country and the best outcomes for the Lincoln community.”

In addition to the 10 steps to achieve Lighthouse designation, LFR staff demonstrated life-saving techniques using a new automatic chest compression device to show how high performance CPR is administered.

In 2022, the survival rate for non-traumatic cardiac arrests in Lincoln was 18.4% which was twice the average nationally, according to most recent statistics.

Lincoln also affords a greater than double opportunity for patients to survive due to bystanders performing CPR prior to the arrival of first responders. Of the 141 non-traumatic cardiac arrest cases that occurred in 2022, bystanders were performing CPR 70.8 % of the time when LFR arrived compared to the national CPR rate of 40.2%.

Jessica Loos, Communications Manager, Emergency Communications Center, Lincoln Police Department, thanked Lincoln residents and LFR staff for their cooperative efforts to produce successful cardiac arrest outcomes.

“Each link in the chain of survival is vital to the next,” Loos said. “None of this could be accomplished without your partnership at the time of the call. We look forward to continuing our efforts with Lincoln Fire and Rescue as a Lighthouse Community, the citizens of Lincoln, and continuing our commitment to ensuring confidence in the service you receive in our community.”

Lincoln Fire and Rescue has also received the Mission Lifeline Award from the American Heart Association for seven consecutive years – the last five being Gold Plus Awards.