Milwaukee County Hand Only CPR Initiative


All 13 of the Milwaukee County Fire Departments in conjunction with the Milwaukee County Emergency Medical Services Division (MCEMS), Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Aurora Healthcare, the Milwaukee Admirals, Walgreens, the Hunger Task Force and other community partners are excited to introduce the Milwaukee County Hands Only CPR Initiative.

Bystander CPR rates in Milwaukee County hover around 20%. This means that a patient in cardiac arrest in Milwaukee County currently has about a 1 in 5 chance of having someone step in to offer CPR prior to the arrival of first responders when they collapse. We think we can do much better. Therefore, the community partners named above have begun implementation of a program designed to capture as many people as possible at sporting events, health fairs, community festivals and provide 10-20 minute training in compression only CPR. Similar Hands Only CPR initiatives in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area have seen bystander CPR rates increase from around 30% to more than 75% one-year following implementation. Studies have found that many bystanders report they are hesitant to react in an emergency because they feel they are not properly trained or they are afraid to provide mouth to mouth breaths. The American Heart Association's research has shown that the heart usually has about ten minutes of residual oxygen in the blood and that providing early chest compressions along with early access to an automatic external defibrillator (AED) provides the best chance for survival in a sudden cardiac emergency. These Hands Only CPR trainings are FREE however they are not a certification course. If you are interested in getting certified in CPR (a 3-4 hour class), please contact Battalion Chief Dan Weber, the Greenfield Fire Department Community Risk Reduction Chief at or by calling 414-545-7946 ext. 5. Please see below for more information, including cost, related to our certification offerings.