Take 20 For Life

Community Partners


Featured on CBS 11

The Need

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a public health crisis, killing an estimated 295,000 Americans each year. (Circulation, 2010; 121:e46)  More Americans die each year from SCA than AIDS, lung, breast, and prostate cancer combined. (Every Second Counts. Every Action Matters. A Community Response Planning Guide for Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  The Medtronic Foundation HeartRescue Project, Minneapolis, MN. 2011)

Your chances of survival fluctuate by as much as 500 percent, depending on where you live in the country. (JAMA, 2008; 300:1423)

If no action is taken, cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival decrease approximately 5 – 10 % with every passing minute between the event and when 911 first responders arrive.  The mean response time from 911 call to arrival for Fort Worth first responders to a cardiac arrest is 6 minutes and 58 seconds.  Success begins with public bystanders.  Communities with higher bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) participation/automatic external defibrillator (AED) use have higher SCA survival rates.  In the communities with high survival rates, the bystander CPR rate is greater than 60%.  In Fort Worth less than 40 % of SCR victims receive CPR prior to the arrival of a 911 first responder, and only 6.1% receives the benefit of public access defibrillation (PAD).

Take 20 for Life Project

Therefore, the Fort Worth Emergency Services Collaborative has partnered with MedStar, Fort Worth Fire Department, and CBS 11 and TXA21 to implement the Take 20 for Life project. The goal is to train over 25,000 people in Fort Worth over 5 years in Hands-Only CPR and use of an AED.   This will dramatically increase the number of people in the Fort Worth area able to provide CPR to an adult who suddenly collapses.  By training as many people as possible we expect to improve the likelihood of bystanders acting by calling 911 and performing chest compressions when an adult is found in cardiac arrest.  More people doing CPR can mean more people surviving a cardiac event.  We call it Take 20 for Life because the training takes less than 20 minutes and each kit can train 20 people at a time.

How It Works

1.  Pick up a training kit for up to 20 people.

2.  Watch the training DVD together.  The DVD stars Mayor Betsy Price, and begins with a vignette of a person experiencing  a sudden cardiac arrest in the Stockyards (Fort Worth style).  Mayor Price jumps into action and calls for help, starts Hands-Only CPR, and uses an AED.  The patient survives!!  This scene is followed by an instructional component by Doug Dunbar, co-anchor of CBS 11 News at 5, 6, and 10 p.m.

3.  Practice Hands-Only CPR by using the foam pads included in the kit.

4.  Fill out the training roster and fax it to MedStar at the number listed on the form.

5.  Return the kit to where you picked it up.

It’s a simple as that, but can make a big difference between life and death for a loved one.

Should you take this training?  Anyone who lives, works, or plays in Fort Worth who does not already have CPR certification should take this training.

You can pick up a training kit at MedStar Mobile Healthcare Headquarters located at 2900 Alta Mere Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76116.

On June 4th, 2013, during CPR/AED awareness week, we had 14 survivors and their rescuers recognized at the Fort Worth City Council meeting.   Every survivor present was alive only because someone performed CPR and/or used an AED immediately following their event.  Nothing validates the importance of this training more than a room full of people who are alive today because of it.

For more information on Take 20 for Life, contact:

Matt Zavadsky:  817-632-0522 or MZavadsky@medstar911.org

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