BFC Efforts Produce Successful Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates
By NewsDesk
June 24, 2022

BERWYN, PA - The Berwyn Fire Company was proud to once again take part in the Pennsylvania CARES Program in 2021. The program recognizes agency’s dedication to collecting out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) data for quality improvement purposes.

As career staff and volunteers worked through the COVID pandemic, they provided high quality and timely care to the Tredyffrin-Easttown community. The state of readiness for Berwyn Fire Company continues to prove its value based on many metrics, especially as it relates to these lifesaving statistics.

Each year, approximately 350,000 persons in the United States experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) or sudden death; approximately 90% of persons who experience an OHCA die. Despite decades of research, median reported rates of survival to hospital discharge are poor (10.4%) and have remained virtually unchanged for the past 30 years. By participating in Pennsylvania CARES, Berwyn Fire Company demonstrates commitment to saving lives by strengthening the links in the OHCA chain of survival.

Pennsylvania CARES is a statewide partner of the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES), a national cardiac arrest registry that allows communities to measure bystander and 911 response, including information about bystander CPR and AED application, telephone CPR, and EMS response.

The Berwyn Fire Company’s dedication to collecting OHCA data has helped strengthen the collaboration between 911 centers, first responders, EMS agencies and hospitals, with the ultimate goal to improve OHCA survival rates.

For more information on CARES and the benefits of cardiac arrest data collection, please visit the national CARES website and see the Pennsylvania CARES program website More information about sudden cardiac arrest is available from the CDC at

The implementation of the Berwyn Fire Company Quick Response Service (QRS) Program in May 2019, the opening of a EMS substation in August 2019, and the move to a new fire/EMS substation in January 2020 have been significant factors in seeing successful patient outcomes as compared to previous years. The financial support of Tredyffrin Township and Easttown Township has also been a major contributor to Berwyn’s success.

For the last several years a number of firefighters and EMS personnel have been equipped with automated external defibrillators (AED), which has provided them with the ability to respond directly to the scene of cardiac arrest calls. Due to the advent of the QRS Unit, many of these same personnel have been issued an emergency portable radio, oxygen bottle, adult/infant bag valve breathing masks, and bleeding control supplies to augment their capabilities for response to minor and more significant medical calls.

The on scene support of the Tredyffrin Township Police Department and Easttown Township Police Department have also played a key role in the chain of survival for victims of cardiac arrest in the Tredyffrin-Easttown community.

2021 Pre-hospital Sudden Cardiac Arrests: 19

Bystander CPR initiated: 4 out of 19
Bystander AED Use: 1 out of 19
QRS/Fire/Police Responder AED Use (Prior to Ambulance): 6
Location: Home: 14; Nursing Home: 1; Public Setting: 4

Sustained Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC)

Berwyn Fire Company: 52%
Pennsylvania: 30%
National: 27%

Overall Survival with Hospital discharge with good to moderate cerebral performance

Berwyn Fire Company: 31%
Pennsylvania: 6%
National: 7%

Utstein Survival % - Witnessed cardiac arrest by bystander and found in a shockable rhythm

Berwyn Fire Company: 100%
Pennsylvania: 28%
National: 29%

Utstein Bystander Survival % - Bystander AED and/or CPR initiated

Berwyn Fire Company: 100%
Pennsylvania: 30%
National: 32%

What does Utstein Survival mean?

Utstein survival refers to survival to hospital discharge of those cardiac patients whose arrest events were witnessed by a bystander and that involved persons who had an initial rhythm of ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia.