CFSI and the MedicAlert Foundation Launch New Awards Program

The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and the MedicAlert Foundation have announced the establishment of a new awards program to recognize fire departments from across the country for outstanding achievements in EMS services.  The Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Awards Program will honor volunteer, career and combination departments that have established innovative and highly effective best practices in emergency medical services. Departments selected for their achievements will be honored at the annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner in Washington, hosted by CFSI. 

Fire Service-Based EMS plays a critical and time-sensitive role in the continuum of emergency medical services in this nation.  Patient survival, to a large extent, is determined by the level and quality of care provided by fire department personnel.   They are often the first on the scene and are trained and equipped to perform their duties under the most extreme conditions.  The Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Awards Program will recognize fire departments that have implemented best practices in EMS.  Through this effort, CFSI and the MedicAlert Foundation will seek to identify and promote best practices in Fire Service Emergency Medical Services that can serve as a model to help all fire departments seeking to enhance their own emergency medical services. 

“Across this country, we are hearing of outstanding practices fire departments have implemented to enhance emergency medical care, leading to higher survival rates for the victims and greater safety for our responders,” said CFSI President Bill Jenaway.  “We want to draw national attention to these efforts to encourage other departments to enhance their own practices; hence this new program.  We thank the MedicAlert Foundation for their support of this initiative.  They have an outstanding tradition of making positive contributions to public safety.’ 

“MedicAlert Foundation is proud to support this awards program in partnership with CFSI.  Every day in communities across the country, fire personnel are there for all of us in times of need. We are equally proud that every day the MedicAlert Foundation is helping fire personnel and other first responders protect all of us too” said Andrew B. Wigglesworth, President and CEO of MedicAlert Foundation.  “The adaptation of evidence-based treatment plans, technology and best practices is the foundation of effective EMS care.  The agencies that empower their EMS providers to improve on this foundation will lead the way in patient care and provider safety.  We are proud to sponsor this award to recognize the leaders in fire service-based EMS care.” 

Applications for the awards program will be accepted from January 22nd to March 15th.  A selection committee comprised of representatives from the International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Fighters, National Fire Protection Association, National Volunteer Fire Council and the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates will review the applications and select at least one recipient each from a volunteer, combination and career department for the awards.  The first awards presentation will take place April 7th at the 23rd Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner, sponsored by the Congressional Fire Services Institute. 

Applications and information about the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Honor are available at www.cfsi.org/awards/awards_ems.cfm and www.medicalert.org/award.

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