Dr Stephen Ball, Best Poster prize “Spark of Life” conference
May 2019
At the recent “Spark of Life” conference held in Sydney, Australia from the 9 – 11 May 2019, PRECRU Deputy Director Dr Stephen Ball was awarded Best Poster for his work entitled “Optimizing public defibrillator locations: a case study in Albany, Western Australia”. This research is undertaken with PRECRU Industry Partner St John Ambulance

PRECRU PhD Scholarship Student Ellen Ceklic, publication
May 2019
Ellen Ceklic, PRECRU PhD Scholarship student has had her journal article accepted for publication by the “Annals of Emergency Dispatch and Response”, the article is entitled “A systematic review of the relationship between ambulant status and the need for a lights and sirens ambulance response to crashes”, co-authored with PRECRU colleagues Dr Hideo Tohira, Dr Stephen Ball and Professor Judith Finn

Research Rumble at Curtin
March 2019
Congratulations to Professor Judith Finn who was awarded the Faculty “Researcher of the Year” award at the Mark Liveris Health Science Seminar and to
PRECRU PhD student Elizabeth Brown who was awarded a high commendation for her poster “Major trauma patients: They are not who you think they are” at the Curtin library display during the Research Rumble

Professor Judith Finn makes 2018 Altmetric Top 100
February 2019
Professor Judith Finn has been recognised in the 2018 Altmetric Top 100 with the publication “A Randomized Trial of Epinephrine in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest” which was ranked at number 27. This list highlights the top 100 most-mentioned scholarly articles published for 2018. The Altmetric website states that “In the past year, Altmetric has tracked over 25 million mentions of 2.8 million research outputs” and the top 100 most-mentioned scholarly articles published for 2018 are “those which have truly captured the public imagination” Read more

Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis
January 2019
Professor Judith Finn’s Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis “Adrenaline and Vasopressin for cardiac arrest” co-authored by Ian Jacobs, Teresa Williams, Simon Gates and Gavin Perkins has been published on the Cochrane Library Read more

Another publication for PEC-ANZ Scholarship recipient Elizabeth Brown
January 2019
PEC-ANZ Scholarship recipient Elizabeth Brown’s journal article “Older age is associated with a reduced likelihood of ambulance transport to a trauma centre after major trauma in Perth” has been accepted for publication by Emergency Medicine Australasia. This publication is co-authored by Hideo Tohira, Paul Bailey, Gavin Pereira and Professor Judith Finn.


2018 PRECRU news

Professor Judith Finn conferred the title of "John Curtin Distinguished Professor" December 2018

At the beginning of December 2018 it was announced that Professor Judith Finn will be conferred the title of “John Curtin Distinguished Professor”. This prestigious honour is in recognition of Professor Finn’s significant and sustained contribution to the University. This title recognises Professor Finn’s distinguished national and international academic reputation, exceptional research and teaching skills and the distinguished record of service to professional and public life.

Heart Foundation 2018 Vanguard Grant Success November 2018

Professor Judith Finn and Deputy Director Stephen Ball were successful in their grant application “Development of an empirical model for the strategic placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public locations: improving survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest” awarded from the Heart Foundation, Australia. The Vanguard grant is designed to “encourage research and innovation in clinical or public health interventions and cardiovascular health practices” which can ultimately improve cardiovascular health.


International OHCA Registry Network - Singapore October 2018

Professor Judith Finn, as Director of Aus-ROC, attended the inaugural meeting of the “International OHCA Registry Network” in Singapore 28 – 30 October 2018. The meeting was hosted by Professor Marcus Ong at Singapore General Hospital, with representatives from the CARES, PAROS, EuReCa and Aus-ROC international OHCA registries; and registry managers from various national OHCA registries


European Resuscitation Congress (ERC) 2018 September 2018

Professor Judith Finn travelled to Bologna, Italy for the ERC “Resuscitation 2018: New technologies in Resuscitation”. Professor Finn co-chaired two sessions:
1) with Peter Morley:
– All patients with sustained ROSC should go for urgent coronary angiography after cardiac arrest
– Cardiac arrest centres improve patient outcomes
2) with Clare Morden:
– Lessons from the past we shouldn’t forget
– Insights from science fiction
– Conscious awareness, mental and cognitive experiences during cardiac arrest
– Technologies of the future.
Professor Finn was a panel member for the following:
– Panel discussion about PARAMEDIC2 – The Adrenaline Trial Peter Morley, Vinay Nadkarni, Jasmeet Soar, Bernd W. Böttiger, Robert W. Neumar, Theresa M. Olasveengen, Judith Finn, Jerry Nolan
– Panel Discussion about ALPS (amiodarone, lidocaine, placebo study)
Michael W. Donnino, Andrea Scapigliati, Jasmeet Soar, Laurie J. Morrison, Judith Finn, John Long1311 people attended the ERC from 58 different countries. Professor Finn completed the trip by attending the Journal “Resuscitation” Annual Board meeting on Thursday 21 September as a Board member

Resuscitation Academy Network Events 6-7 August 2018

Dr Stephen Ball gave an oral presentation at the Resuscitation Academy Network Events. This research, led by linguist Dr Marine Riou, found that during emergency ambulance calls, the choice of words by call-takers can have a big impact on whether a patient receives CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Callers were much more likely to agree to perform CPR on a patient if the call-taker framed it as something that will, or needs to happen (e.g “We’re going to do CPR” or “We need to do CPR”), rather than something that depends on the caller’s willingness (e.g. “Are you willing to start CPR?”). This research can help to redefine the way call-takers provide over-the-phone assistance to patients in cardiac arrest, where every second counts.

CSANZ ASM August 2018

The CSANZ (Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand) ASM was held in Brisbane 2 – 5 August 2018. Professor Judith Finn attended as the Cardiovascular Nursing Lecturer, presenting the topic “Out of hospital cardiac arrest and considerations for cardiac rehabilitation”

Dr Peter Buzzacott joins the PRECRU Team July 2018

Dr Peter Buzzacott has joined the PRECRU team as the new Senior Research Fellow. Peter has relocated from North Carolina, USA, where he was the Director, Injury Monitoring and Prevention at Divers Alert Network. Dr Buzzacott’s research is focused on injury epidemiology and he will initially be focussing on the management of ‘falls’ by the ambulance service


PEC-ANZ PhD Scholarship Student, Elizabeth Brown, publication June 2018

PRECRU PhD Student and PEC-ANZ Scholarship recipient Elizabeth Brown has had her journal publication accepted on the 24 June 2018 in “Emergency Medicine Australasia” entitled: “The epidemiology of trauma patients attended by ambulance paramedics in Perth, Western Australia” – her first paper accepted for publication.
Read publication here

Dr Stephen Ball's poster presentation EMS Conference Copenhagen April 2018

18 Dr Stephen Ball, PRECRU Deputy Director, presented a poster at the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. The poster was entitled: “The influence of agonal breathing on call-taker recognition of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest” and focused on the outcomes from research undertaken for the NHMRC funded project “Improving ambulance dispatch to time critical-emergencies”


NZ Resus Conference 2018 19-21 April 2018

Professor Judith Finn travelled to New Zealand for the NZ Resus Conference held in Wellington. On behalf of the Aus-ROC Epistry Steering Committee Professor Finn presented “Regional variation in the characteristics, incidence and outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Australia and New Zealand” and later presented “‘She’s sort of breathing’: what linguistic factors determine call-taker recognition of agonal breathing in emergency calls for cardiac arrest?”

Out-of-hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) and streamlining Emergency Response Calls 3 April 2018

St John Ambulance WA Clinical Services Director and PRECRU Adjunct, Dr Paul Bailey was interviewed by Andrea Gibbs ABC presenter from “Weekends with Andrea Gibbs” regarding the cardiac arrest linguistic research that PRECRU and SJA WA have undertaken collaboratively. Dr Bailey was also interviewed by Emma Young for WA Today, “Every Breath you take, every move they make counts for WA Paramedics”. This research, undertaken at PRECRU by Dr Stephen Ball and Dr Marine Riou collaborative with St John Ambulance WA, is aligned to the NHMRC funded project “Improving ambulance dispatch to time-critical emergencies”
Read article here


Previous news

SJA Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest report 2016 released 27 October 2017

SJA Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest report 2016 released
27 October 2017
The Inaugural St John Ambulance WA Out-of-hospital Cardiac Arrest Annual Report for 2016 was released. The report found, based on data from a cardiac arrest registry managed by PRECRU and updated by Dr Madoka Inoue, that people are more likely to survive cardiac arrest and have a good quality of life compared with a decade ago.

PRECRU Grant Successes 9 October 2017

PRECRU News: Grant Successes

9 October 2017

An event was held with St John Ambulance WA – Industry partners, Dr Paul Bailey Clinical Services Director.

The event was attended by Michael Berndt PVC Health Sciences, Lorna Rosenwax Deputy PVC Health Sciences, Phill Della School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Chris Moran DVC Research


Some images from the event:

AUS-ROC Scholarship recipient Nicole McKenzie one of top posters in Curtin University Innovation and Research Week 22 September 2017

  • AUS-ROC Scholarship recipient Nicole McKenzie one of top posters in Curtin University Innovation and Research Week
    22 September 2017
    PhD Student and AUS-ROC Scholarship recipient Nicole McKenzie was selected as one of the 5 top-ranked posters in Curtin’s Innovation and Research week for her poster entitled: Neurological outcome in adult out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients – not all doom and gloom!
    Authors: McKenzie, Cheetham, Williams, Inoue, Fatovich, Celenza, Sprivulis, Jenkins, Tohira, Ho, Bailey and Finn. 

PRECRU Outcomes Presentation 10 July 2017

PRECRU Outcomes Presentation

10 July 2017

On Monday 10 July 2017 Professor Judith Finn, Dr Stephen Ball and Dr Marine Riou attended a “PRECRU Outcomes Presentation” at St John Ambulance Western Australia. It was an opportunity for the PRECRU team to share with Staff and Volunteers at SJA the key findings for the NHMRC funded “Improving ambulance dispatch to time-critical emergencies” project, which researches emergency calls and dispatch of ambulances for cardiac arrest.

PRECRU works in close partnership with St John Ambulance WA to conduct high quality research studies aimed at improving the management and outcomes of ambulance patients.

Dr Marine Riou, Dr Stephen Ball and Professor Judith Finn.From left to right: Dr Marine Riou, Dr Stephen Ball, Professor Judith Finn.

Dr Marine Riou wins best poster at European Emergency Medical Congress 24 May 2017

PRECRU News: Dr Marine Riou wins best poster

24 May 2017

Dr Marine Riou, Dr Stephen Ball and Dr Teresa Williams presented posters at the European Emergency Medical Congress, held from 22 to 24 May 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Dr Riou was awarded Best Poster at the conference.

A synopsis of her presentation follows:

If you had to call 000 for a medical emergency, how would you describe the situation to the call-taker? This study analysed emergency calls made by members of the public for patients who were having a cardiac arrest, a condition where every second counts. We focused on the following sentence said by call-takers: “tell me exactly what happened”. Our results indicate that callers often respond with a long narrative containing irrelevant details – for example, saying what they were doing when the incident occurred. We identified a simple solution: if the tense of the sentence was changed to “tell me exactly what’s happened”, callers were 4 times more likely respond with a  short and efficient report. Saving time can help saving lives, and one way to do that is to identify the communicative strategies that work best.

Dr Riou was awarded Best PosterDr Riou being awarded Best Poster

PhD student Nicole McKenzie presents at the Bard Medical Clinical Training and Education Program 31 March 2017

PhD student Nicole McKenzie presents

31 March 2017

In March 2017, PRECRU PhD student Nicole McKenzie presented the results of her systematic review at the Royal Perth Yacht Club for the Bard Medical Clinical Training and Education Program. Nicole’s PhD is entitled “Post-resuscitation care following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: identification of in-hospital prognostic determinants”.

Read the paper.

Professor Niklas Nielsen (Lund University), Dr Luke Torre (an intensivist from QE2), Tina van Weelderen (BARD), Nicole McKenzie (Curtin University) and Pippa Berry from (BARD)Professor Niklas Nielsen (Lund University), Dr Luke Torre (an intensivist from QE2), Tina van Weelderen (BARD), Nicole McKenzie (Curtin University) and Pippa Berry from (BARD)

Conferences and presentations September - November 18 November 2016


PhD Student Nicole McKenzie visiting New Orleans in November 2016 to present a poster at the 2016 American Heart Association (AHA) Conference, the poster was entitled ““The association between arterial carbon dioxide tension and outcomes after cardiac arrest: A systematic review and meta-analysis.”


Dr Stephen Ball presented at the Council of Ambulance Authorities Conference in October 2016. His talk focused on “The recognition of cardiac arrest during emergency ambulance calls”.

Dr Hideo Tohira presented a poster entitled “Outcomes of older patients attended by paramedics for falls in Perth, Western Australia”, at the 10th European congress on emergency medicine held in Vienna, Austria in early October 2016.

During October Professor Judith Finn was the Invited Speaker at the Resuscitation Academy Masterclass in Brisbane, discussing “The Role of research in improving resuscitation outcomes”

Dr Stephen Ball presented the talk “The recognition of cardiac arrest during emergency ambulance calls” at the Global Resuscitation Alliance Masterclass on the 18th of October and also presented the same talk at the 2016 CAA (Council of Ambulance Authorities) Conference held in Brisbane, Australia from the 19 – 20 October. The talk can be found at

In October the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine at Curtin University held their Annual Celebration of Excellence Awards. Student Adam Dagnell received the “St John Ambulance – Professor Ian Jacobs Award” awarded in the Bachelor of Science – Health Sciences (Paramedicine major) for the highest mark in the Paramedic Capstone Unit was awarded and the “Paramedic Award” – awarded in the Bachelor of Science – Health Sciences (Paramedicine major) to the 3rd year student with the highest semester weighted average.

Dr Teresa Williams was the Nursing Co-Convenor at the 41st ANZICS/ ACCCN Intensive Care Annual Scientific Meeting held in Perth from the 20-22 October. Teresa presented the talk “Management of Enteral Nutrition”. Professor Judith Finn was the Invited Speaker at the meeting and presented “What’s new in resuscitation”.


Professor Judith Finn was the invited speaker at the OHCA Workshop in Cardiff Wales on the 21st of September 2016 hosted by the Welsh Government and British Heart foundation

At the recent Mark Liveris Seminar held at Curtin University on 1 September, PhD Student Milena Talikowska was awarded the Best Paper Award for her presentation entitled, “Paramedic reported barriers towards use of CPR feedback devices in Perth, WA”.

Professor Judith Finn attended the “Resuscitation 2016” in Reykjavik, Iceland on the 24 and 25 of September. Judith is a Member of Faculty for the European Resuscitation Council Congress.

Dr Teresa Williams grant success 18 November 2016

Senior Research Fellow Dr Teresa Williams was successful in her grant applications for the WA DoH SHRAC grants. Her project, “A randomised controlled trial of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) for the treatment of severe respiratory distress by ambulance paramedics in the pre-hospital setting”, is a collaborative clinical trial with St John Ambulance and clinician collaborators in Western Australia and the United Kingdom.

PRECRU staff present in Canada, New Zealand and Singapore 1 September 2016

Recent conferences

Milena Talikowska presents at Resuscitation in Motion Conference

In May 2016, PhD student Milena Talikowska presented at the Resuscitation in Motion 2016 Conference in Toronto Canada.

Her presentation was entitled “Paramedic-reported barriers towards use of CPR quality feedback devices in Perth”.

Professor Judith Finn presents in New Zealand and Singapore

The New Zealand Resuscitation Council Conference was held in April 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Professor Finn was an invited speaker and presented on “Education, Implementation and Teams: Update on ANZCOR guidelines” and “Practicalities of Guideline Implementation”.

In February Professor Finn was also an invited speaker at the Resuscitation Council of Asia Conference in Singapore.

Her presentation focused on “Training issues in CPR – Training cycle and CPR feedback and the role of the nursing profession in the ILCOR CoSTR as education and training taskforce chair”.

Recent awards for outstanding work September 2016

Dr Hideo Tohira receives Falck Scientific Abstract Award

This award is received for an outstanding abstract entered in the “Emergency Pre-Hospital” category through the cooperation with the European Society of Emergency Medicine (EuSEM) and the International Conference of Emergency Medicine (ICEM).

Dr Hideo Tohira was given this award at the at the 16th ICEM held at Cape Town, South Africa on 18-21 May 2016.

Nicole McKenzie receives 2016 Australian Postgraduate Award

In February 2016 PhD Student Nicole McKenzie was successful in her application for the 2016 Australian Postgraduate Award.

Nicole’s study focuses on the following: “Post-resuscitation care following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: identification of in-hospital prognostic determinants”.

Dr Marine Riou joins the PRECRU team 1 September 2016

Marine is currently working as the linguist on the NHMRC funded “Improving ambulance dispatch to time-critical emergencies”. She has previously worked as an Adjunct Lecturer in English Linguistics at the Sorbonne-Nouvelle University in Paris, France.

As a linguist specializing in spoken interaction, she will be analysing the contents and structure of emergency calls, with a view to identifying any interactional factors that may improve dispatch for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients.

NHMRC Partnership grant success Posted: 26 May 2014

Title: Improving ambulance dispatch to time-critical emergencies.
A NHMRC Partnership project between Curtin University and St John Ambulance WA

Professor Judith Finn (PRECRU, Curtin University) will lead an interdisciplinary team of researchers to work together with St John Ambulance WA to improve the accuracy of the dispatch of ambulances.

The project – to commence in July 2014 – has received three years of funding under the highly competitive NHMRC Partnership Projects initiative – see

Chief Investigators (CIs):

CIA: Prof Judith Finn Curtin University / St John Ambulance WA / Monash University
CIB: Prof Ian Jacobs Curtin University / St John Ambulance WA
CIC: Prof Daniel Fatovich Royal Perth Hospital / The University of Western Australia
CID: A/Prof Karen Smith Ambulance Victoria / Monash University
CIE: Dr Teresa Williams Curtin University / St John Ambulance WA
CIF: Dr Delia Hendrie Curtin University
CIG: A/Prof Kay O’Halloran Curtin University
CIH: Professor Peter Cameron Monash University

Associate Investigators:

Mr Tony Ahern St John Ambulance WA
Mr Deon Brink St John Ambulance WA
Prof Phillip Della Curtin University
Dr Madoka Inoue Curtin University
Mr Iain Langridge St John Ambulance WA
Mr Craig McKemmish St John Ambulance WA
Mr Austin Whiteside St John Ambulance WA

Consumer Representative:
Dr Anne Atkinson

Project synopsis:
The optimal management of critically ill patients is a continuum of care through the healthcare system; seamlessly extending from the prehospital and emergency department phases to the Intensive Care Unit and rehabilitation services.  The prehospital management of critically ill patients begins with the emergency ‘000’ phone call for an ambulance.  This is where the first suspicion of a time-critical emergency presents and it is on the basis of this ‘first link in the chain of survival’ that ambulance dispatch priority is determined.  However, as asserted at the recent inaugural European Emergency Medical Dispatch conference, “there is a paucity of dispatch research in the published medical literature…and the optimum method of handling calls and dispatching emergency medical resources remains largely unknown”.

This partnership project brings together an interdisciplinary team to work collaboratively with St John Ambulance Service in Western Australia to investigate strategies to improve the accuracy of emergency medical dispatch.  All ambulance services in Australia (except ACT) (and many internationally) use the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS).  Hence our study findings will be of relevance to emergency medical systems throughout the world.
We will use quantitative and qualitative methods, drawing on unique data sources not readily accessible in any other jurisdictions in Australia, to address questions such as:

  1. How accurately does the MPDS emergency dispatch system identify time-critical emergency conditions?
  2. What has been the experience of the end-users of MPDS?
  3. What characteristics of the communication between call taker / caller can lead to inappropriate dispatch priority?
  4. What are the EMS demand management implications of over-triage of calls?
  5. What are the economic and service implications of inappropriate triage of calls?

Further information can be obtained from:
Professor Judith Finn

Judith Finn contributes to ILCOR meeting on international recommendations on resuscitation Posted: 26 May 2014

In February 2015, Judith Finn joined 200 delegates in Dallas, Texas, to develop draft international recommendations on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care, as part of the International Liaison Committee On Resuscitation (ILCOR).

The outcomes of this meeting will contribute to the Consensus on Science with Treatment Recommendations (CoSTR), scheduled for online publication in the medical journals Circulation and Resuscitation on October 15, 2015.

PRECRU research appears in 2014 highlights of the journal Resuscitation Posted: 26 May 2014

The international journal, Resuscitation, has included two papers by PRECRU researchers in its 2014 list of highlights.

Among Resuscitation’s favourite papers for 2014 were Janet Bray’s paper on trends in the incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Perth.  This study found a statistically significant reduction in the age-and-sex-standardised incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Perth over the years 1997-2010.  This paper was co-authored by PRECRU’s Judith Finn and Ian Jacobs.

Also listed was Shelley Kirkbright’s paper on the use of audiovisual feedback devices by paramedics during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).  This study found that while feedback technology allows CPR providers to improve performance, a systematic review found no consistent evidence that this translates into improved patient outcomes.  This paper was co-authored by PRECRU’s Judith Finn, Hideo Tohira and Ian Jacobs.

More details [go to]