According to a recent survey conducted by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, the average survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital is 8.5 percent. But through various programs, the San Ramon Valley Fire District has maintained a survival rate that’s twice as a good, at 17.1 percent. If an AED is present at the scene, survival rates increase to nearly 50 percent.

The Fire District has been championing a program called HeartSafe, which encourages residents to learn lifesaving techniques. Currently, about 2,000 residents learn hands-only CPR through the program. The Fire District also uses a smartphone application to alert nearby good Samaritans to cardiac events nearby. The technology allows those who have been trained to save lives to respond to nearby incidents. These two approaches have increased bystander intervention – such as administering CPR until first responders arrive – to over 50 percent.

The Fire District also uses state-of-the-art technology on its fire rigs. One of the tools that has proved handy is a new EKG-Defibulator that can wirelessly transmit vital signs directly to the emergency room.

Read the full story at the Danville Express.