Sandy Springs Wins Heart Safe Community Award

Sandy Springs Fire DepartmentSandy Springs Fire Rescue Department (SSFRD) was named a Heart Safe Community by the International Association of Fire Chiefs at the EMS Section annual meeting in Las Vegas last week.

The award is sponsored by Physio Control and it recognizes fire-based EMS and other EMS systems that have used creative approaches to implement and maintain systems that prevent and treat cardiac related diseases within the communities they serve. The award looks at communities holistically and how the Department integrates systems to work symbiotically. Agencies must show how they have improved the quality of out-of-hospital resuscitation through bystander CPR, AED deployment, out-of hospital 12-lead ECGs 12-lead ECG advanced notification to the receiving hospital and other continuous quality resuscitation improvements.

SSFRD won in the small community (under 100,000 population) category.  SSFRD has yielded a bystander CPR performance rate of 59 percent in 2010, which was more than twice the national average. Since 2007, the Department has trained more than 4,800 residents in CPR and AED use and placed more than 156 AEDs in the City saving 17 lives. The Department has also launched a pilot program to train emergency medical technicians to use hypothermia treatment for cardiac arrest victims.

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