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Heart Safe Communities Honored at Fire-Rescue Med 2018

Spokane, Washington, and Peachtree City, Georgia, Recognized for Success

Henderson, Nevada – At Fire-Rescue Med on June 8, the IAFC's EMS Section honored two fire departments with the annual Heart Safe Community Award. The award recognizes organizations with creative approaches to implementing and maintaining systems to prevent and treat cardiac-related diseases within their communities.

The Spokane (Washington) Fire Department was awarded top honors in the large-community category (population of 100,000+) and the Peachtree City (Georgia) Fire-Rescue Department took home first place in the small/mid-sized community category (population under 100,000).

The Heart Safe Community Award, sponsored by Physio-Control, examines communities holistically and how they've integrated their systems to work symbiotically. Agencies must demonstrate improved quality of out-of-hospital resuscitation through bystander CPR, AED deployment (PAD programs), out-of-hospital 12-lead ECGs, 12-lead ECG advanced notification to the receiving hospital or other continuous quality resuscitation improvements.

"The Heart Safe Community awards recognize the Spokane Fire Department and the Peachtree City Fire-Rescue Department for their devotion to saving lives in their communities and providing important public education," said Chief Mike McEvoy, chair of the IAFC EMS Section. "The success of these two agencies highlights their good work and establishes their cardiac-arrest response protocols and programs as a role model for other communities across the United States."

Peachtree City: Public AEDs and Bystander CPR Used to Save Lives

In 2017, the Peachtree City Fire-Rescue Department (PCFR) took significant steps toward improving cardiac-arrest survival rates in its community by engaging in an aggressive campaign to expand public access to life-saving technologies and delivering effective public-education campaigns. Peachtree City and PCFR worked to place AEDs in a wide variety of public recreational facilities and government offices. This expansion of public AEDs as well as a wide-reaching training session on AED usage and hands-only CPR significantly increases the likelihood of cardiac arrest patients receiving emergency care sooner.

Additionally, PCFR delivered targeted CPR, AED and first-aid courses to middle school students and senior citizens. PCFR actively participated in the 2017 World CPR Challenge; they were successful in training more than 600 people in six days on how to perform hands-only CPR.

Lastly, PCFR also administered an intensive clinical improvement program to improve STEMI care and compliance with stroke recognition protocols.

“Pit-crew” Responses and Public Education Improves Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates in Spokane

Over the course of several years, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) implemented a multifaceted program aimed at improving SFD operations and public education.

In 2016 and 2017, SFD implemented a pit-crew style of CPR delivery in which each person has a predesignated role in patient-care delivery. Additionally, SFD continues to actively utilize the PulsePoint Verified Responder program in which off-duty firefighters are notified when they are near an active cardiac arrest.

SFD also worked to expand public education by actively participating in community events and posting online lessons in delivering hands-only CPR. SFD identified incidents in which callers were reluctant to provide CPR and then used that information to better target their public education.

Together, these efforts resulted in an Utstein survival rate of 46.9% and a bystander CPR intervention rate of 55.4% in 2016.

About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more
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