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Am J Emerg Med. 2013 Oct;31(10):1466-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2013.07.031. Epub 2013 Sep 10.

The fast emergency vehicle pre-emption system improved the outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

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Department of Emergency Medical Science, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medicine, 13-1 Takara-machi, Kanazawa, 920-8641, Japan.



Ambulance response time is a major factor associated with survival in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs); the fast emergency vehicle pre-emption system (FAST™) aids response time by controlling traffic signals. This eight-year observational study investigated whether FAST™ implementation reduced response times and improved OHCA outcomes.


Data was prospectively collected from 1161 OHCAs that were not witnessed by emergency medical technicians from April 1, 2003, to March 31, 2011. The study took place in Kanazawa city, where ambulances without FAST™ (non-FAST™-equipped) were being progressively replaced by new FAST™-equipped ambulances. OHCA data, including the response times recorded in seconds, were collected and compared between the FAST™-equipped and non-FAST™-equipped ambulances. OHCA outcomes were subsequently compared in the subgroup of OHCAs managed by emergency medical technicians without tracheal intubation or epinephrine administration. The primary end-point of this study was one-year (1-Y) survival.


The median response time significantly differed between the FAST™-equipped and non-FAST™-equipped groups at 327 and 381 s, respectively. The 1-Y survival rates were 7.0% in the FAST™-equipped group and 2.8% in the non-FAST™-equipped group. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the dispatch of a FAST™-equipped ambulance was an independent factor for 1-Y survival (adjusted odds ratio = 3.077, 95% confidence interval = 1.180-9.350).


The FAST™ implementation significantly reduced ambulance response times and improved OHCA outcomes in Kanazawa city.

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