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