Cardiac Ready Community Project

Helping empower communities in North Dakota to actively lower heart attack mortality rates.

1720 Burlington Drive,
Bismarck, ND 58504
Phone: 701.328.2270
Fax: 701.328.0357

The first five minutes are the most critical.

Research shows that communities increase survival and recovery rates for victims of heart attack, stroke, or sudden cardiac arrest when residents:

  • are aware of cardiac emergency signs and symptoms
  • activate the 9-1-1 system for these emergencies
  • begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • and have public access to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Chest discomfort

Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body

Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath

This feeling often comes along with chest discomfort, but it can occur before the chest discomfort.

Women are somewhat more likely than men to experience other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea (vomiting) and back or jaw pain.

Other signs may include:

  • breaking out in a cold sweat
  • feeling weak
  • nausea
  • lightheadedness

Helpful Info:

These resources are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be, or to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Cardiac Ready Programs

Each North Dakota community is different, with unique needs and challenges. However, to become Cardiac Ready, each community must satisfy specific criteria. These standards prepare residents with the skills to respond to cardiac events. This includes CPR instruction, public access to AEDs, blood pressure screenings, resuscitation protocols and transport plans for EMS and area hospitals.

Get Involved

A community can receive the Cardiac Ready designation with the following four steps:

First, community stakeholders (elected officials, public health professionals, residents, etc.) unify as a team and agree to pursue the Cardiac Ready designation. Often, a lead coordinator serves as a liaison to the North Dakota Department of Health.

The community coordinator arranges a meeting with ND State Stroke Cardiac System Coordinator, who evaluates the community’s current readiness and steps to meet program criteria. This includes access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs), awareness campaigns, and community AED and CPR training.

Implement and Track:
After the conditions for Cardiac Ready designation are understood, the community works to update local practices and services per program standards.

Request Review:
The North Dakota Department of Health reviews community progress when a request is submitted. After this evaluation, the community will either receive feedback for areas of improvement or be granted Cardiac Ready Community designation.

Is your community Cardiac Ready? Download this map of Cardiac Ready communities and those that have expressed intent to become Cardiac Ready.

Cardiac Ready Communities

Cardiac Ready Community Highlights

Powers Lake is North Dakota’s first community to achieve the Cardiac Ready Community designation.

After a sudden cardiac event at the softball diamonds, the community of Hebron pulled together and is working towards Cardiac Ready Community certification.

Are you Cardiac Ready?

Get Involved

Ready to get started? Download the materials and contact the North Dakota Department of Health for more information.

Step 1: Download and review the program materials

Program Materials

Step 2: Contact the North Dakota Department of Health

Contact Information

North Dakota Cardiac Ready Community Program
ND Division of emergency medical systems
1720 Burlington Drive,
Bismarck, ND 58504
Phone: 701.328.2270
Fax: 701.328.0357