Today at Fire-Rescue Med, 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.
East Pierce Fire & Rescue of Bonney Lake, Wash., was awarded top honors in the small community category (population under 100,000) and the Tulsa (Okla.) Fire Department took home first place in the large community category (population of 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.
East Pierce: Survival Rates on the Rise
Since 2011, East Pierce Fire & Rescue has worked to implement a comprehensive cardiac-arrest resuscitation program. Since implementing this program, survival rates for witnessed ventricular-fibrillation patients have improved dramatically from 10% (2006-2010 average) to 41% (2011-2012 average).
In addition, East Pierce & Rescue has focused on improving their Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS)/STEMI programs as well as improving education and awareness of ACS. The department has also partnered with its primary hospital to provide 12-lead ECG acquisition and transmission to activate the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.
A Team Approach in Tulsa
Throughout 2012, the Tulsa Fire Department implemented a variety of programs to expand and improve the level of EMS care provided to its community. Recently, the department began using a new cardiac-arrest team dynamic protocol to better coordinate patient care and management of cardiac arrests.
Additionally, the Tulsa Fire Department has initiated a coordinated effort to place AEDs in all City of Tulsa facilities. The fire department has coupled the increased availability of AEDs with an expanded public-education campaign and active participation in the Citizen CPR Program.
Lastly, the department has enjoyed success from a recent partnership with the University of Oklahoma, School of Community Medicine, in which EMT-Basics were trained in acquisition and telemetry transmission using 12-lead ECG devices. During this six-month trial, 98.5% of transmissions by EMT-Basics were determined to be clinically useable for determining activation of emergency interventional cardiology services.