Wake County EMS Celebrates Saving More Cardiac Arrest Patients in 2020

Editor’s note: Wake County EMS Director Dr. José Cabañas and three EMS team members are featured in the following videos:


May 16 – 22 is National EMS Week, and the dedicated first responders who care for our community every day have a lot to celebrate.

In 2020, Wake County EMS successfully resuscitated 119 people who experienced sudden cardiac arrest. That’s an increase of 27 people over 2019.

“Despite unprecedented disruptions to the healthcare system caused by COVID-19, Wake County EMS continues to have one of the most successful cardiac arrest survival programs in the nation,” said Dr. José Cabañas, Wake County EMS director/medical director. “This success is not by chance or fortune, but rather the hard work of all our EMS system providers and hospital partners.”

In previous years, Wake County has honored both survivors and responders at a special event called Code: Celebrate! as part of National EMS Week. The COVID-19 pandemic has put the in-person event on hold for the past two years.

It’s been a tough year for first responders, who worked through many hurdles to ensure minimal disruption in the high-quality care expected from Wake County EMS. Paramedics, EMTs and staff members stepped up when the Wake County community needed it the most—from serving in critical roles in the Emergency Operations Center to staffing the mass vaccination site at PNC Arena.

“This week is a great time to reflect on our staff’s efforts to safeguard the health, safety and well-being of our community during the most consequential public health emergency of our lifetime,” Cabañas said.

In 2020, Wake County EMS responded to more than 109,000 total calls for help. Learn more about the organization at wakegov.com/ems.

Press Release