Report: Dane County Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates Nearly Twice as Good as National Average

May 24, 2023
Ariana Vruwink, 608-267-8823
County Executive, Emergency Management

New Data from Dane County Emergency Management Shows Dozens of Individuals Survived Life Threatening Medical Emergency Last Year, Illustrating Successes of Well-Coordinated Emergency Response System


Individuals who go into cardiac arrest while around another person have a better chance of being resuscitated and making a full recovery, according to a new report released by Dane County in conjunction with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. Data shows 65% of those who had cardiac arrest, in which a bystander intervened and the heart had a rhythm that could be shocked, survived in 2022. That’s nearly double the 34% national survival rate for that medical emergency and vastly better than the Wisconsin statewide average of around 42%.


“This report shows the importance of early intervention and continued public attention and training on giving chest compressions and making defibrillators more available in our communities,” County Executive Joe Parisi said. “Our Department of Emergency Management has helped coordinate a seamless network of people who stand at the ready, improving the odds of survival in even the most dire of medical emergencies.”


58 patients survived cardiac arrest in Dane County last year, which is the highest number the county has recorded to date.


Bystanders started giving chest compressions before responders arrived in over 62% of cardiac arrest calls across Dane County in 2022. That is up from 40% the year earlier, a marked improvement made possible in part due to the work of Dane County 911 call-takers who coach callers on how to give effective compressions before ambulances arrive at incidents.


“None of us know when we may experience someone who needs our help,” Dane County Emergency Management Director Charles Tubbs said. “That’s why it’s important we keep showing everyone we can how easy it is to give chest compressions that improve chances for that person to survive.” Patients in Dane County who received CPR from a bystander in 2022 had a survival rate over twice as high as those who did not.


“EMS week is a time to show our appreciation to the countless people in our communities who train and are ready to respond at a moment’s notice,” Parisi said. “It’s also a good time to remember how impactful it is for as many of us as possible to be trained on CPR and take a moment to learn where the closest defibrillator is at our workplaces and schools.”


Those interested in learning more about how to provide compression-only CPR should contact their local EMS Agency or visit Dane County Emergency Management’s website at


May 21-27 marks the 49th annual recognition of National Emergency Medical Services Week.