Somebody collapses — in a restaurant, public park, sports stadium or even right at home. Sudden cardiac arrest strikes seemingly at random, and when it comes to survival, seconds matter.
Last year, EMS agencies in Rhode Island responded to nearly 1,200 people experiencing cardiac arrest, according to the state Department of Health.
Currently, about one in 10 people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Rhode Island survive. But that rate could double or triple, or possibly go even higher, experts say, if people received CPR in the first few minutes after a cardiac arrest. That amounts to potentially hundreds of unnecessary deaths each year.But people can and do survive if they receive proper emergency medical care.
ProPublica and The Public’s Radio are investigating Rhode Island’s 911 system. We want to understand whether cardiac arrest patients, and possibly others, receive the care they need. Ideally, we’d like to learn what unfolded in as many cases as possible in which 911 was called. Help us learn about as many 911 calls as we can.
Have you ever called 911 for a medical emergency? Has 911 ever been called on behalf of somebody close to you? These telephone calls are shrouded in secrecy — a 1996 state law prevents the general public from accessing these recordings. In Rhode Island, only the person whose voice is on the 911 call has the legal right to obtain a copy of the call.
Here’s where you can help.
We’re looking for people who can help us track down Rhode Island 911 calls. Is that you? Or can you point us to somebody? Fill out the form below.
Your submission is confidential. We won’t publish any information you share without your permission, and we won’t voluntarily share what you tell us here.
Note: We know these calls can be very sensitive. You might want to take a look at Rhode Island’s Good Samaritan laws, which offer some protections for those who call 911.