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Press Releases / 2007 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9, 2007


Innovative study aims to improve survival rate of cardiac arrest patients throughout the City

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta announced today that the New York City Fire Department will begin its participation in the Smart CPR Trial, an international prehospital study designed to evaluate the ability of new automated external defibrillator (AED) technology and improve the survival rate of cardiac arrest patients across the City.

Using AEDs reprogrammed with advanced technology, all FDNY firefighter and EMS units that have these devices will participate in the study, beginning on Sunday, May 13. The study will involve an estimated 1,000 cardiac arrest patients who meet the necessary criteria. The London Ambulance Service (London, England) is participating in the Department-led study, which is expected to last two to three years as the overall impact of the reprogrammed AEDs is evaluated.

“The FDNY provides the most advanced pre-hospital medical care of any agency in the world, and this new cutting-edge program only seeks to enhance our capabilities,” Commissioner Scoppetta said.

Using current resuscitation guidelines from the American Heart Association, the reprogrammed AEDs measure the heart’s electrical activity to determine which standard of prehospital care is more suitable for each cardiac arrest patient who initially has a shockable rhythm -- either the delivery of a shock or two minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before a shock is delivered. All patients will be provided with one of the two internationally accepted standards of care.

Because the study involves cardiac arrest patients who are unconscious, require immediate care and are unable to give informed consent, the FDNY has received approval for a waiver of informed consent from the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Institutional Review Board. In accordance with requirements set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, measures will be taken to notify the community of the study and its results.

More information related to the study will soon be available on the FDNY Web site at

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Tony Sclafani, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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