Skip to main content
Find a DoctorGet Care Now
Skip to main content
Search icon magnifying glass







ynhh bulletin 08/24/23

Each year, the Yale New Haven Hospital Center for EMS honors emergency medical services personnel who performed life-saving, out-of-hospital cardiac resuscitation the year before. Based on an outreach program for first responders that has dramatically increased the number of lives saved, the Center is offering CPR classes at no charge to the public. 

Center for EMS program puts the power to save lives in anyone’s hands

Every year during National EMS Week, the Yale New Haven Hospital Center for EMS holds a ceremony to recognize emergency medical services personnel who performed life-saving, out-of-hospital cardiac resuscitation the year before. Many of the people they save also attend, offering hugs and heartfelt thanks to the first responders who gave them a second chance.

This year’s ceremony at the Center’s New Haven facility was more crowded than usual. That’s because in 2022, first responders with agencies sponsored and authorized by YNHH resuscitated and transported 41 patients who were successfully discharged from the hospital. That’s more than triple the 12 patients resuscitated and discharged in 2021.

“That’s 41 moms, dads, grandparents, sons and daughters who went home and are with their families,” said Kate Couturier, MD, medical director, Yale New Haven EMS System, and assistant professor of emergency medicine, Yale School of Medicine.

The increase is due to an outreach program Daniel Joseph, MD, chief of EMS in the Department of Emergency Medicine, started three years ago. He, Dr. Couturier and other Yale School of Medicine emergency medicine physicians worked with the Center for EMS education team to reinforce the fundamentals of cardiac arrest management with EMS professionals. The physicians and educators provided hands-on training to 380 paramedics and more than 1,500 EMTs in 19 Greater New Haven towns and cities.

“The results were astounding,” said Scott Martus, education and operations manager, Center for EMS. “We saw an increase of over 300 percent in patients’ survival. This is 300 percent more patients transported to the hospital to receive expert care.”

The training was such a success, the Center for EMS is now providing free cardiopulmonary resuscitation classes to members of the public. Because many people are reluctant to provide the mouth-to-mouth component of CPR, trainers teach hands-only CPR, along with how to use automatic external defibrillators (AEDs).

As of late July, more than 30 classes had been held at schools, churches and other sites, and more were scheduled – including a session in Spanish, said Joseph DeAngelis, Center for EMS operations coordinator. Participants do not get certified for the hands-only CPR classes, which are shorter and less-intensive than the American Heart Association CPR classes. But participants do gain a skill that can make a big difference when minutes count.

“The best time to intervene during cardiac arrest is right away,” Dr. Couturier said. “EMS can usually get to a call quickly, but they’re not there ‘right away.’ We know that if the people who are there can start CPR or use an AED, it gives the patient a better chance at survival.”

CPR training is just one function of the YNHH Center for EMS. The Center works with Yale School of Medicine’s Section of EMS to provide medical oversight to paramedics and EMTs in 22 EMS agencies throughout Greater New Haven. The Center also provides education and training on numerous other skills for EMS personnel and nurses; is involved in quality improvement and patient throughput efforts for YNHH and Yale New Haven Health System; and supports the Sponsor Hospital Area Response Physicians (SHARP) team. This team of emergency physicians and physician assistants can respond to 911 calls, bringing physician-level medicine into the field.

“As a department of Yale New Haven Hospital, we are the largest and most dynamic EMS infrastructure in the state,” Martus said. 

To request a hands-only CPR training session for your department or organization, email [email protected]