Fire department increases survival rate with pit crew CPR

Each team member has a job, including one to do compressions, one to ventilate and another to medicate

By EMS1 Staff

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — A fire department is taking a different approach to saving lives with CPR by utilizing an all-hands on deck mentality.

KHQ reported that the Spokane Valley Fire Department is using pit crew CPR, which involves a rotating team that consists of one person doing compressions, one ventilating, another to medicate and other team members to help out.

The team members rotate from the physically-demanding role of delivering compressions every two minutes, which allows for a steadier, more consistent compression delivery.

The department said that since they’ve implemented this technique, their survival rate jumped from 25 percent to 54 percent.

Captain Dan Ward said cardiac arrest calls are now less stressful because everyone has their job and knows what to do.

The fire department now teaches pit crew CPR to surrounding fire departments in an effort to spread it across the country. 

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