Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES)

In March 2009, the San Francisco Fire Department began participating in an important public health registry called CARES (Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival). Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Heart Association (AHA), and Emory University Department of Emergency Medicine, the registry collects data from participating EMS systems and hospitals to track cardiac arrest cases and identify opportunities for improvement in the treatment of cardiac arrest.

Sudden cardiac arrest results from an abrupt loss of heart function and is the leading cause of death among adults in the Unites States. Survival rates in the event of sudden cardiac arrest are low, but victims' chances of survival increase with early activation of the 9-1-1 system, early bystander CPR, rapid defibrillation, and early access to definitive care. CARES is designed to allow local EMS systems to measure each link in their "chain of survival" and use this information to save more lives.

CARES consolidates all essential data elements of a pre-hospital cardiac arrest event and utilizes an internet database system to register events, record response times associated with First Responder/EMS dispatches, and track patient outcomes with hospitals.

By participating in CARES, the San Francisco Fire Department aims to improve the delivery of EMS care to cardiac arrest victims, and to improve the survival rate of victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

The local CARES administrator, overseeing CARES operations for the SFFD, is the Department's Medical Director. For more information regarding the CARES Program, please contact the SFFD Medical Director, or visit