The IAFC presented awards to the winner and two finalists of the 2011 Fire Service Award for Excellence during Fire-Rescue International in Atlanta. Cosponsored by U.S. Safety Fire Technologies, the award recognizes innovation and achievement in managing resources to reduce the loss of life and property from fire and other emergencies.
The San Ramon Valley (Calif.) Fire Protection District took top honors this year for their development of a fire department iPhone app. The app aims to improve out-of-hospital cardiac-arrest survival rates by crowd-sourcing Good Samaritans and redefining “witnessed arrest” to including citizen rescuers in neighboring businesses and other immediately adjacent areas. The application also directs citizen rescuers to the nearest public access AED.
The app is a low-cost investment that creates a significant force multiplier—a daily staffing level of 43 with an estimated 17,000 CPR-trained citizens. The department’s nomination pointed out that “by empowering citizens to sustain more lives until crews can arrive, [the app] improves service delivery at very little cost.”
What’s more, San Ramon isn’t keeping a good thing to itself: the application has been made available to all other public-safety agencies at no cost through a foundation formed by the district.
The 2011 Excellence Award finalists include:
Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) Fire and Protective Services – Saskatoon’s HomeFirst program has enabled the department, in partnership with the provincial government, to significantly improve the quality of rental property in Saskatoon and decrease the number of fires in high-risk neighborhoods by 43%. The program offers income supplements to Social Assistance recipients following HomeFirst inspection, ensuring the residence meets minimum fire and life safety standards. Since the program’s inception, Saskatoon Fire and Protective Services has completed 4,600 inspections.
Port Orange (Fla.) Department of Fire & Rescue – Port Orange has taken An Intergenerational Approach to Fire & Injury Prevention. They have partnered with Atlantic High School’s Education and Support Services Academy to offer interactive learning stations for all students grades pre-K through 3rd at every elementary school in Port Orange.
This program was based on the NFPA’s Learning Station Concept and was offered over six days during Fire Prevention Week 2009. This successful partnership was continued and expanded during Fire Prevention Week 2010.
The intergenerational program allows for a much more tactile approach to injury-prevention messaging than the traditional assembly-style presentations offered in past years. Atlantic High School students, under the direction of Port Orange Fire & Rescue’s public-education specialist, staffed seven learning stations on such topics as “Crawling Low Under Smoke” and “Firefighters Wear Funny Stuff,” reaching approximately 3,500 students each year with vital safety messages.
Look for featured stores on the winner and finalists in future issues of On Scene.
Ann Davison, CAE, is the strategic information manager for the IAFC.