The Resuscitation Academy is offered tuition-free and attendees come from throughout the country (and world). The small class size allows for a two-way exchange of information. The faculty provides evidence-based information and tools to improve cardiac arrest survival and the attendees share the real-life challenges they face. Every community has a different constellation of culture, leadership, resources, and opportunity. Above all, we (the faculty) have learned that change is very challenging and one should never assume that just because someone comes along with a good idea that it will be embraced and implemented.
The tool kits are not exactly recipe books with specific steps for each program. Rather, they provide the information, background, training materials, sample letters, sample forms, references and resources, and a general approach to achieving buy-in from directors and managers, as well as the dispatchers, EMTs, paramedics, and police. Although they provide important tools, the contents of each kit must be applied and/or modified based upon resources and leadership within the attendee’s community.
Although most of the kits are directed toward the chain and frame of survival, there are two kits that provide supplemental information. One is on End of Life Issues, and the other tackles the challenging matter of raising funds. Most EMS programs face increasing demand for services and programs while grappling with decreasing resources. When EMS personnel are being laid off, it seems hardly the right time to take on new programs requiring new staff or additional resources. But we think there are ways to create additional resources. Call it the margin of excellence to make the system better, even in the face of difficult economic conditions.
One of the tool kits specifically addresses how to establish a local foundation or partner with an existing foundation and engage in fundraising. Several communities have used the information in this kit to find resources for new equipment and fund additional staff time for QI activities.
The tool kits are publicly available on the Resuscitation Academy website. Tool kits may be downloaded free of charge in a PDF format. All the information on the website is free.