I live in a rural area. Rural areas were specifically excluded from the study.
This time of year always reminds me of a call I went on the day before Thanksgiving
I have personally gone on a cardiac call, where the person was asystole when we arrived on scene. I was an EMT-basic. The other two guys were a 20 year EMT-I, and a 20 year Paramedic. A police officer beat us to the scene by 2 minutes and started CPR. The paramedic 2 rounds of cardiac drugs and we got a shockable rhythm. Shocked, good rhythm, packaged her up and took her to the local ER. In the meantime, the hospital had ordered up a helicopter and it was standing by when we get there. 45 minute ride to the nearest cardiac center.
The lady walked out of the hospital 7 days later. She lived another 2 years.
The Paramedic assured me that was the first time he had ever recovered a cardiac patient, in 20 years, who was flatline when he got on scene. The Gods of EMS were with us that night.
Why did she live?
1. Quick effective CPR by the police officer was probably critical. He was less than a block away when he got the call.
2. Quick effective arrival of the ambulance. She lived 4 blocks from the ambulance station. We happened to be in the garage, inventorying the ambulance when we got the call
3. Local ER quickly mobilizing air assets, so that she got to a cardiac center as fast as possible.