Graham Kilmer
MKE County

County EMS Gets Award for Excellence

Emergency Medical Services Division again gets recognized for its handling of cardiac arrests.

By - Jul 8th, 2023 02:41 pm
A Milwaukee Fire Department ambulance at a rollover crash on S. 1st St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A Milwaukee Fire Department ambulance at a rollover crash on S. 1st St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The professionals working in Milwaukee County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division have yet again received recognition for their response to and care for county residents in cardiac arrest.

In 2018, the county’s EMS earned recognition with an award from the American Heart Association. And recently, a national registry of cardiac events and response has given the division an “Excellence Award” for its efforts to increase bystander intervention and improve survival of cardiac arrest in the county.

“Addressing the disparities in cardiac care and response requires a multi-faceted approach,” said EMS Medical Director Dr. Ben Weston in a statement. “The Office of Emergency Management’s local programs and partnerships help raise awareness about the signs of cardiac arrest, the importance of early activation of EMS, and how bystander CPR can help save a life,”

County Executive David Crowley released a statement Friday congratulating EMS on the award. Milwaukee County was one of seven agencies in the state to receive an award.

“I’m proud of the work the Office of Emergency Management is doing each day to help keep neighborhoods in all parts of the county healthy and safe,” Crowley said. “Cardiac arrest response and care is a space where we see deep health disparities along racial lines due to Black and Brown communities historically facing barriers to timely EMS care. At every level OEM is stepping up to meet the needs of our residents and bridge gaps in health disparities.”

The award comes from a national registry started in 2006 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Emory University in Atlanta. Called the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival, it was created “to help communities determine standard outcome measures for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest,” in order to help local communities build benchmarks for improving cardiac response, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The registry, as of 2020, included 28 state-based registries, the Washington D.C. registry, 45 community sites in 14 states, more than 1,800 EMS agencies and 2,200 hospitals. The registry is able to collect data on approximately 145 million people or 45% of the U.S. population.

“The benefit of the CARES program is it helps strengthen local collaborations between 911 centers, first responders, emergency medical services, and hospitals,” said  Cassandra Libal, director of the Office of Emergency Management. “Strong collaboration is key to ensure residents receive care quickly, especially in the event of a cardiac arrest where quick recognition and action can save lives.”

If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us