OBJECTIVE: Dispatch-assisted chest compressions only CPR (CC-CPR) has gained widespread acceptance, and recent research suggests that increasing the proportion of compression time during CPR may increase survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. We created a simplified CC-CPR protocol to reduce time to start chest compressions and to increase the proportion of time spent delivering chest compressions. This simplified protocol was compared to a published protocol, Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) Version 11.2, recommended by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch. METHODS: Subjects were randomized to the MPDS v11.2 protocol or a simplified protocol. Data was recorded from a Laerdal Resusci Anne Skillreporter manikin. A simulated emergency medical dispatcher, contacted by cell phone, delivered standardized instructions for both protocols. Outcomes included chest compression rate, depth, hand position, full release, overall proportion of compressions without error, time to start of CPR and total hands-off chest time. Proportions were analyzed by Wilcoxon's Rank Sum tests and time variables with Welch ANOVA and Wilcoxon's Rank Sum test. All tests used a two-sided alpha-level of 0.05. RESULTS: One hundred and seventeen subjects were randomized prospectively, 58 to the standard protocol and 59 to the simplified protocol. The average age of subjects in both groups was 25 years old. For both groups, the compression rate was equivalent (104 simplified versus 94 MPDS, p = 0.13), as was the proportion with total release (1.0 simplified versus 1.0 MPDS, p = 0.09). The proportion to the correct depth was greater in the simplified protocol (0.31 versus 0.03, p < 0.01), as was the proportion of compressions done without error (0.05 versus 0.0, p = 0.16). Time to start of chest compressions and total hands-off chest time were better in the simplified protocol (start time 60.9s versus 78.6s, p < 0.0001; hands-off chest time 69 s versus 95 s, p < 0.0001). The proportion with correct hand position, however, was worse in the simplified protocol (0.35 versus 0.84, p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The simplified protocol was as good as, or better than the MPDS v11.2 protocol in every aspect studied except hand position, and the simplified protocol resulted in significant time savings. The protocol may need modification to ensure correct hand position. Time savings and improved quality of CPR achieved by the new set of instructions could be important in strengthening critical links in the cardiac chain of survival.