Acuity Insurance contributed $125,000 to Aurora Health Care’s When Minutes Matter campaign to help improve patient survival rates during cardiac incidents and other emergencies. Through the success of this campaign, Aurora and the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office were able to deploy a new Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) service.
The new system, which provides care instructions to Sheboygan County, WI, 911 callers involved with cardiac arrest scenarios as well as other serious and potentially life-threatening situations, had an immediate impact. Within just minutes of its launch, a 911 call arrived regarding an industrial accident within the county that resulted in an arm amputation.
“The dispatcher was able to give pre-arrival instructions to stop the bleeding and care for the amputated limb,” said Lt. Kristy De Blaey, M.S., Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office Communications Manager. “On the heels of that, we received 911 calls for an injury crash, a gunshot, and a pregnancy, all within the first two hours. The EMD system has already proven its value to the community.”
Acuity’s contribution adds to the company’s continued support for community healthcare. Past donations have helped fund the creation of an intensive and intermediate care unit, a neonatal intensive care unit, a medical and dental provider for the underserved, a hospice facility, and more. Acuity supports the American Cancer Society and Conquer Cancer Foundation, and the company’s annual Acuity Health Challenge run/walk has raised tens of thousands of dollars to expand access to quality care.
"Acuity is a longstanding supporter of facilities, programs, and initiatives that provide needed healthcare services. We are proud to help Aurora Health Care in its efforts to enhance the capabilities of emergency responders and provide an even greater level of lifesaving services”, said Ben Salzmann, Acuity President and CEO. “It all comes down to improving the well-being of everyone in our community.”
The new EMD system is important because survival rates more than triple if CPR techniques are provided by bystanders and if an automated external defibrillator (AED) device is used to treat victims before emergency personnel arrive.
“We know that when an individual suffers cardiac arrest, each second is critical to their survival,” said Steven Zils, MD, out-of-hospital medical director and emergency medicine physician with Aurora Health Care. “The unfortunate reality is that many 911 dispatch centers across the country don’t provide pre-arrival instructions, and as we began to investigate this here in Sheboygan County, it became a clear opportunity to work with our dispatch center and community partners to save more lives.”
“The new system is a great example of a community partnership program focused on saving lives,” said Sheboygan County Sheriff Todd Priebe. “Our dispatchers are the first part of any life-saving call for help. They are now trained to help callers by offering instructions in cardiac arrest events. We’re thrilled to see it be available in Sheboygan County.”