Rugby, North Dakota achieved the Cardiac Ready Community designation, a community-led initiative that seeks to prepare the entire community to be ready to aid anyone in need of assistance in the event of a heart-related emergency.
The Cardiac Ready Communities project is a partnership of the North Dakota Department of Health’s Division of Emergency Medical Systems and the American Heart Association through the North Dakota Cardiac System of Care. The program is designed to promote survival from a cardiac event, such as sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), which occurs outside of the hospital setting. Communities in other states that have done similar projects have seen their survivor rates of cardiac arrest increase dramatically.
Rugby EMS’s Cardiac Ready Community coordinator Ken Reed, lead the charge in raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of a cardiac emergency, organizing CPR training sessions, and equipping the community with AEDs. “This was really a team effort and it was amazing to see our entire community come together,” adds Reed, “Because we’re a rural community, it’s important we know how to respond to a cardiac situation. Rugby is a close-knit community, we’re like family, and we want to be able to help a family member in an emergency.”
Rugby achieved the criteria to receive the North Dakota Cardiac Ready Community status. The criteria support the chain of survival, such as CPR instruction, public access to AEDs, hypertension screenings, and resuscitation protocols and transport plans for first responders and area hospitals.
A North Dakota Cardiac Ready Community Designation is valid for three years, at which time the communities will need to renew the designation.
So far, four communities have received the Cardiac Ready Community designation. Twenty-two other communities have expressed intent to become Cardiac Ready. For more information on becoming a Cardiac Ready Community visit cardiacreadynd.org.