T-CPR Taskforce

Letter from the Chairman of the Taskforce

April 19th, 2017

Every year more than 350,000 people fall victim to sudden, unexplained out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Unfortunately, only about 1 in 10 victims survive this dramatic event. Early access to 911 and early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are the first 2 links in the chain of survival from OHCA. While 911 is frequently accessed, in the majority of cases, OHCA victims do not receive bystander CPR and wait for the arrival of professional emergency rescuers.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has committed to doubling OHCA survival by 2020. The most immediate method to improve survival from OHCA is to improve bystander CPR rates. Rates of bystander CPR in most municipalities are low, especially among minority communities. In contrast, bystander CPR rates are highest in communities where public safety answering points (PSAPs), or dispatch centers, provide telephone CPR (T-CPR) instructions. In these communities, as much as 50% of bystander CPR is directly attributable to those just-in-time T-CPR directions.

Recognition of these circumstances prompted the AHA to convene a taskforce of resuscitation experts to address the challenges of providing T-CPR. This taskforce was charged with creating a set of recommendations for performing T-CPR and a toolkit for agencies seeking to meet these important metrics. The goal of the AHA and this taskforce is every 911 call is answered by a PSAP ready to provide lifesaving T-CPR.

On this site, you will find program and performance recommendations for T-CPR. These recommendations were created by the T-CPR taskforce and vetted during a 90-day public comment period during Autumn 2016. In addition, you will find a comprehensive guide to implementing T-CPR in your community. With your assistance, these recommendations will help achieve our goal of doubling survival rates from OHCA.

On behalf of the T-CPR taskforce,

Michael Christopher Kurz signature

Michael Christopher Kurz, MD, MS-HES, FACEP, FAHA
American Heart Association
Vice Chair – Emergency Cardiovascular Care Systems of Care Subcommittee
Volunteer Chair, T-CPR Taskforce


Meet The Taskforce

Michael C. Kurz, MD, MS, FACEP, FAHA – Chair (T-CPR Taskforce)

Dr. Michael Kurz is an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in both the Department of Emergency Medicine and Department of Surgery, Division of Acute Care surgery. In addition, Dr. Kurz is an adjunct scientist in the Center for Injury Science and Director of the UAB Hypothermia Service providing comprehensive post-arrest care for cardiac arrest victims throughout Alabama.

Dr. Kurz serves as Immediate-Past Chair of the AHA Emergency Cardiac Care Subcommittee on Systems of Care and has contributed to the ECC guidelines since 2010.

Dr. Kurz’s research interests are focused upon intra- and post-arrest care including coagulation dysfunction, optimizing hemodynamic support, and rehabilitation for survivors.

Bentley J. Bobrow, MD, FACEP

Bentley J. Bobrow, MD FACEP is Professor and Chair and John P. and Katherine G. McGovern Distinguished Chair of Emergency Medicine at the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. He is focused on improving outcomes for major public health problems including out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, traumatic brain injury, acute stroke, substance abuse, and behavioral health emergencies. As a public health official for more than 20 years, he has partnered with 9-1-1 centers, EMS agencies, municipal fire departments, hospitals, university researchers and the public to implement and measure systems of care for effectively responding to these emergencies. Dr. Bobrow is a past Chair of the American Heart Association Basic Life Support Subcommittee and a co-author of the Institutes of Medicine Report on Cardiac Arrest. He has collaborated to launch the Texas-Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) Program.

Julie Buckingham

Julie Buckingham has been an active member of the public safety communications industry for over 20 years, serving as a telecommunicator, CTO, tactical dispatch team member and team leader, EMD instructor, peer support team member, operations supervisor, and as a EMD, training, and accreditation program manager. She is actively involved in APCO and NENA and has served on several standards committees and sub-committees. Ms. Buckingham has spoken at several national and international conferences on telecommunicator training, QI, and T-CPR. She is also a member of the NHTSA CPR LifeLinks working committee. Ms. Buckingham is currently a faculty member with the Seattle King County Resuscitation Academy and is the Resuscitation Academy Program Manager for the American Heart Association and Laerdal Medical.

Jose G. Cabanas, MD, MPH, FACEP

Dr. Jose G. Cabanas is a board-certified emergency medicine and EMS physician with expertise on prehospital systems of care, continuous quality improvement, and resuscitation. Dr. Cabanas is the Medical Director for Wake County EMS Systems in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dr. Cabanas currently serves as a member of the National AHA ECC Systems of Care committee and Mission Lifeline Resuscitation Committee.

Mickey Eisenberg, MD, PhD

Dr. Mickey Eisenberg has been involved in emergency medicine, emergency medical services, and sudden cardiac arrest research for over four decades. He served as the Director of the Emergency Department at the University of Washington Medical Center from 1978-2003 and was the Medical Director of the King County EMS from 2001-2015. He has over 200 scientific publications and two books on cardiac arrest, including a history of cardiac resuscitation. He currently serves on the board of the Resuscitation Academy.

Peter Fromm, MPH, RN, FACHE, FAHA

Peter Fromm

Peter Fromm serves as the Administrator for the Division of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Service Line at Mount Sinai South Nassau in Oceanside, New York. Mount Sinai South Nassau, a 455-bed hospital, is the Long Island flagship hospital of the Mount Sinai Health System He serves as a member of the AHA Resuscitation Systems of Care Quality Subcommittee and 2020 Emergency Cardiovascular Care Guidelines Task Force, Peter has previously served the AHA as Chairman of the Systems of Care Subcommittee and as a member of the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee and Regional Board of Directors. Peter graduated from Rutgers University with degrees in Biology and Philosophy, earned a Nursing degree at The University of The State of New York, and a Master of Public Heath from New York Medical College. He is a Board-Certified Healthcare Executive and Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a Fellow of the American Heart Association.

Micah Panczyk

Micah Panczyk, MS, is Director of Implementation Science and CARES State Coordinator at the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. He served as director of content and lead editor of CPR LifeLinks, the implementation toolkit developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to help 9-1-1 agencies and EMS agencies achieve best-practices in Telecommunicator CPR and EMS High-Performance CPR. He has co-authored more than a dozen papers and articles on Telecommunicator CPR and has been a faculty member at resuscitation courses across the United States, Europe and Asia.

Kevin G. Seaman, MD, FACEP

Dr. Kevin G. Seaman is the Executive Director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). He oversaw implementation of an evidence-based performance improvement initiative and completed the process of electronic transfer of patient care data from the Maryland eMEDS patient care report to the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES). Dr. Seaman continues to lead the Maryland Statewide Cardiac Arrest Steering Committee (CASC) and serves as a physician adviser to the Maryland Dispatch Telephone CPR subcommittee.

Christian Vaillancourt, MD, MSc

Dr. Christian VillaincourtDr. Christian Vaillancourt is a Full Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He is a Senior Scientist with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and he also serves as an Associate Medical Director for the Regional Paramedic Program for Eastern Ontario. His primary focus is on prehospital care, specifically improving the care and survival for cardiac arrest and trauma victims.

Public Safety Answering Point Recommendations

9-1-1 and public safety telecommunicators are a vital member of any EMS system, and they are a critical link in the cardiac arrest chain of survival.

T-CPR Recommendations

Telecommunicators are the true, first responders and a critical link in the cardiac arrest chain of survival.