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Albuquerque Fire Department Takes Top Honors

At the 2015 National Fire-Rescue Med EMS Conference last month, the IAFC’s EMS Section honored the Albuquerque Fire Department 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.

Albuquerque Fire Department was awarded top honors 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 quality resuscitation improvements.

“We are extremely proud to receive the Heart Safe Community award for our work in improving our citizen cardiac survival rates,” said Albuquerque Fire Chief David Downey. “I want to thank AFD’s EMS Division for their hard work in continually looking for initiatives and procedures that will improve patient care and outcomes.”

The Albuquerque Fire Department also implemented various programs to expand and improve the level of EMS care provided to its community. In the spring of 2014, Albuquerque significantly expanded and updated its equipment to reduce first-medical-contact-to-cath-lab time. The department further improved its cardiac-arrest responses by utilizing software to analyze and improve the quality of CPR provided to patients. Lastly, Albuquerque used public outreach and public-service announcements to educate people on the importance of hands-only CPR. Albuquerque combined these lessons with the use of the PulsePoint smart phone application, which alerts bystanders of ongoing cardiac arrests and shows the location of nearby AEDs. Together, these initiatives have improved survival rates of Albuquerque’s cardiac patients.

For information on Hands Only CPR classes, go to www.cabq.gov/fire

Also download the PulsePoint App on your smartphones and click "CPR" to receive cardiac incident notifications. Go to https://www.cabq.gov/fire/pulsepoint