Emergency Medicine

Milwaukee County Dispatcher Assisted Bystander CPR

The Milwaukee County Dispatcher Assisted Bystander CPR program is dedicated to increasing the overall cardiac arrest survival rate within the County. Through funding provided by Advancing Healthier Wisconsin Endowment Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program (HWPP), the Dispatcher CPR program will create system change with the goal of improving cardiac arrest survival rates in Milwaukee County. This improvement will take place by making dispatcher assisted bystander CPR pre-arrival instructions available to all callers in the County.

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a significant health problem in Milwaukee County. Only 10% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients treated in the County survive to hospital discharge. When CPR is started by bystanders, the odds of survival double, however, bystander CPR is attempted on only 19% of cardiac arrest victims in this County. This rate could be improved if every 911 caller received CPR coaching. With the implementation of dispatcher assisted CPR instructions in Seattle, Washington, the rate of bystander CPR doubled and survival rates for the entire County increased.

See how dispatcher CPR will be provided for each municipality (PDF)

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Academic Resources

American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR

Dispatcher Specific

Importance of Bystander CPR implementation

Bystander CPR improving Survival during Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest

Benefits of Compression only CPR

Conventional CPR vs. Compression Only CPR

Factors which Influence the Effect of Bystander CPR

Dispatcher Toolkit

Cardiac arrest is a public health problem across the state of Wisconsin as well as across the country. In Wisconsin, there are approximately 6,500 cardiac arrests treated by EMS annually, of which only 19% are documented as receiving treatments (i.e., bystander CPR) prior to EMS arrival. This is dramatically lower than the 32% rate of bystander CPR seen nationally. Therefore, we are providing the items below as a tool kit for implementing dispatcher assisted bystander CPR in your community since it has been shown that this can double the rate of bystander CPR in a community. Please contact us if you have questions or would like assistance with starting your own program. (

Dispatcher CPR Protocols
PSAP protocol for identifying cardiac arrest (PDF)
Dispatcher protocol for providing CPR Instructions (DOCX)

Educational Materials
PSAP Training Slides (PPTX)
PSAP Review Slides (PPTX)

Dispatcher Training Slides
Part 1: Project Vision (PPTX)
Part 2: Identifying Patients (PPTX)
Part 3: Moving Callers from Reporters to Actors (PPTX)
Part 4: The Instructions (PPTX)
Dispatcher Practice Scenarios (PDF)

Data Forms for Quality Assurance
Dispatcher Data Form (PDF)
QI Data Form (PDF)