Spokane Fire Department Honored with 2018 Heart Safe Community Award

Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 10:59 a.m.

The Spokane Fire Department (SFD) was selected as the winner of the 2018 Heart Safe Community Award – Large Community from the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

The Heart Safe Community Award is presented to fire service-based EMS agencies that have played a key role in improving the quality of out-of-hospital cardiac care and resuscitation efforts and have demonstrated creative approaches to improving therapies for patients with Acute Coronary Syndromes and its life-threatening complication, Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

“We feel honored to be recognized and to receive this award, says Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer. “A robust EMS system has been a cornerstone of our organization, and we have been on the leading wave of advanced cardiac care for more than 20 years with regionalized cardiac care.”

Over the course of several years, SFD has implemented a multifaceted program aimed at improving community-wide cardiac arrest outcomes. The department has achieved this through a targeted and focused training program that emphasizes a “Pit-Crew” style of CPR in which each firefighter has a pre-designated role in patient care delivery; highly efficient CPR and improved community response through CPR education and AED awareness; expanding bystander CPR education efforts; streamlining the local telephone CPR protocols; increasing public access to AED use; ongoing collaborations with local Level 1 Cardiac Centers of Excellence; and emphasizing high performance, team-based CPR by EMS providers.

“We continue to utilize data to help focus our efforts which has resulted in survival rates that exceed the national rate and Washington State,” adds Schaeffer. “We also analyze our annual results and overall trends in survival to identify areas for improvement to ensure that we are delivering top-tier cardiac care for our community.”