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Two Fire/EMS Departments to Receive Heart Safe Community Awards at 2024 Fire-Rescue Med Conference

IAFC Recognizes Exceptional Commitment to Community Wellness
Heart Safe Community Award

McLean, Va. – Each year, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and PulsePoint Foundation recognize two fire service-based EMS agencies with the Heart Safe Community awards. These awards recognize the agencies for their exceptional work in improving community outcomes for patients with Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) and its life-threatening complication, sudden cardiac arrest.

This year’s selection process was rigorous, with a large number of submissions coming in from all over the country. The 2024 Heart Safe Community Award winners are the City of Madison Fire Department, located in Madison, Wisconsin (large community category) and the Dothan Fire Department, located in Dothan, Alabama (small to mid-sized community category).

Thanks to the exceptionally creative and devoted efforts of these EMS agencies, both of their communities have seen noteworthy improvements in cardiac arrest survival rates and other related medical interventions. In some cases, their performance has scored much higher than the national averages for these incident categories.

By implementing community-first approaches to cardiac events such as hands-only CPR classes, lessons on proper AED usage, public CPR/AED awareness campaigns via social media and other online platforms, corporate training events, survivor-led storytelling, and more, these departments have ensured the public safety and wellness of their communities for years to come.

IAFC President and Chairman of the Board, Fire Chief John Butler, Fairfax County (VA) Fire and Rescue Department, says, “The call volume for all types of emergency incidents has increased across the nation, creating many more response opportunities, with a particular need for medical intervention in many cases.”

He goes on to note, “These departments have been recognized for their community risk reduction and special achievements in areas like bystander CPR, AED deployment, partnerships with local hospitals, their communication and outreach programs, and the use of mobile technology to alert citizen and off-duty responders to nearby cardiac arrest events, just to name a few.”

The Heart Safe Community Awards are sponsored by the PulsePoint Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public nonprofit organization that develops applications to assist public safety agencies in the education and engagement of their citizens. By partnering with the IAFC’s EMS section and sponsoring this award, PulsePoint continues its mission to inform, inspire, and improve communities’ cardiac safety through their emergency response agencies.

IAFC’s current EMS Section Chair, Division Chief Kevin Joles, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical (KS), noted the particular importance of 2024’s awardees in improving the nation’s cardiac arrest survival rates. With over 1,100 members, the EMS Section is one of the IAFC's largest and offers a wealth of resources to members and the EMS community, such as those in Dothan, AL and Madison, WI.

“The IAFC is honored to review Heart Safe Community nominations from all over the country, and it’s our privilege to support the incredible efforts of fire-service-based EMS,” said EMS Division Chief Kevin Joles.

“This award is so much more than a plaque or medal – every Heart Safe Community Award represents lives saved. Good outcomes come from informed communities, and agencies like these build those outcomes from the ground up.”

This year’s Heart Safe Community Award recipients will be officially recognized at the Fire-Rescue Med Conference (FRM), which is scheduled to run April 30-May 1 at the Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Learn more about the Heart Safe Awards here.

About PulsePoint Foundation

  PulsePoint Foundation

The PulsePoint Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public non-profit foundation empowering everyday citizens to provide life‐saving assistance to victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest using a simple mobile app. Instead of relying on fate to place a CPR-trained citizen in the exact location needed at the exact time needed, the PulsePoint app alerts nearby citizen rescuers simultaneously with the dispatch of local paramedics. The app directs these citizens, with a live map, to the nearest AED. This greatly improves the odds that CPR will begin, and an AED will be deployed, within the first few minutes after a cardiac arrest.

About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)

 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 incidents, 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.

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