OnStar recognizes emergency responders in the U.S. with donations of $20,000 each to 20 deserving recipients
DETROIT — Today OnStar celebrates its 20th anniversary by giving $20,000 each to 20 public safety personnel who experienced serious physical injury or hardship that impacted their ability to perform their jobs.
OnStar identified the 20 recipients by working with the International Association of Chiefs of Police Foundation (IACPF), Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) – Sunshine Fund, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT).
“Each day OnStar receives more than 245,000 calls from drivers in need of some support, so we understand the importance of a human connection, especially in an emergency situation,” said Christine Sitek, OnStar chief operating officer for General Motors’ Global Connected Customer Experience team. “The first responder community plays a vital role in working with OnStar advisors to quickly deliver emergency services to our drivers and passengers in need. We couldn’t have become a leader in safety and security without their support.”
One of the selected first responders, Andy Allison, was a firefighter at the Lewisville Fire Department in Lewisville, Texas, when he sustained career-altering injuries while responding to a structure fire. Since his injury, Allison has dedicated his life to helping others manage occupational medicine and advocating for others suffering debilitating injuries in the line of duty. He has been speaking around the country on how to prepare for worst-case scenarios and manage life after a debilitating injury.
“My goal is to help other firefighters prepare for if, or when, they get hurt,” said Allison. “In this career, you need to know what can be done proactively to protect yourself and your family, both physically and financially, and I want to help others be equipped to manage whatever comes their way.”
“Thanks to public safety responders across the nation, OnStar is able to provide a life-saving connection that is needed every hour, every day for the past 20 years,” said Cathy Bishop, OnStar Global Emergency Services senior manager. “This donation demonstrates our great appreciation for all first responders, especially those who suffer serious injury and financial hardship in the name of public service.”
20 Years of Innovating Connected Emergency Services
When GM debuted OnStar in 1996, it was the first in-vehicle technology in the industry to automatically connect to a live person when the vehicle’s airbags deployed. That advisor would work with first responders to provide assistance.
Along with industry-leading technology, OnStar’s emergency advisors receive innovative training, allowing them to be prepared for all situations, from vehicle crashes to mothers giving birth to natural disasters. OnStar has implemented Emergency Medical Dispatch with its advisors, which uses set protocols to assess the situation and provide pre-arrival information to first responders. Together, OnStar’s technology and advisors give first responders the information they need before arriving on the scene.
Honoring 20 First Responders
Click here to view a list of donation recipients. More information on them and OnStar’s 20th Anniversary can be found on the OnStar Connected Journey blog.
Launched in 1996, OnStar is a wholly owned subsidiary of GM Holdings LLC (“GM”) and offers emergency, security, navigation, connections and vehicle manager services in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Opel and Vauxhall models. Totaling nearly 10 million customers in North America, Europe, China and South America, OnStar offers a range of standard, subscription and a la carte services such as Advanced Diagnostics, Automatic Crash Response, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, AtYourService, OnStar Smart Driver and 4G LTE Wi-Fi. In 2015, OnStar surpassed 1 billion customer interactions, topped more than 2 million 4G LTE Wi-Fi equipped-vehicles, and debuted in Opel/Vauxhall.
About the Foundation of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP Foundation)
The Foundation of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP Foundation) is the philanthropic arm of the IACP, a professional association that supports law enforcement worldwide. Founded in 1990, the IACP Foundation celebrated its 25th Anniversary by announcing a new vision – traumatically injured law enforcement officers will never feel abandoned. The IACP Foundation is committed to connecting, supporting and strengthening these injured officer and their families to thrive after a serious line of duty injury.
About Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO)
Founded in 1935, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International is the world’s oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals and supports the largest U.S. membership base of any public safety association. APCO International provides public safety communications expertise, professional development, technical assistance, advocacy and outreach to benefit more than 25,000 members and the public. The corporate headquarters of the Association is located in Daytona Beach, Florida with executive and government affairs offices located in Alexandria, Virginia.
About 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.
About National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT)
Formed in 1975 and more than 55,000 members strong, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) is the only national association representing the professional interests of all emergency and mobile healthcare practitioners, including emergency medical technicians, advanced emergency medical technicians, emergency medical responders, paramedics, advanced practice paramedics, critical care paramedics, flight paramedics, community paramedics, and mobile integrated healthcare practitioners. NAEMT members work in all sectors of EMS, including government agencies, fire departments, hospital-based ambulance services, private companies, industrial and special operations settings, and in the military.
| IAFC Assistant Director, Strategic Communications