See MedicAlert Foundation Int in Product Connect Published Thursday, April 26, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 26, 2012) – The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and the MedicAlert Foundation recognized the innovation and leadership of three fire departments with the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award at the 24th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner tonight at the Washington Hilton. The honorees were the Mesa (AZ) Fire and Medical Department, Selden (NY) Fire Department and Center Point (AL) Fire District.
In its second year, the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Awards program showcases fire departments for best practices and innovative solutions in the delivery of emergency medical services. CFSI and the MedicAlert Foundation established the awards program to promote innovative emergency medical services programs as models for other fire departments around the country to consider adopting to enhance the services they provide in their communities.
The three fire departments – career, volunteer and combination – presented with the 2nd annual Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Awards:
Mesa Fire and Medical Department, Mesa, Arizona (Career)
In 2006, the Mesa Fire and Medical Department had ten engine companies each responding to over 3,000 calls, with one company responding to 4,000 calls. Due to their high call volume, these units were unable to respond to calls in their areas 25% of the time, with those calls being handled by the next closest units, thereby extending response times. Of the 55,000 calls in 2006, 76% were medical in nature.
To address this challenge, the Mesa Fire and Medical Department developed a plan to dispatch a 2-person Transitional Response Vehicle (T-R-V) in peak times to respond to low level emergency medical calls. Working in concert with the leadership of the Mesa firefighter’s union, City management and the City Council, the first T-R-V was dispatched to calls staffed with a paramedic and an Emergency Medical Technician.
Due to the success of the initial unit, the Department now deploys three T-R-Vs. The units have enabled the department to reduce response times and high call volumes as well as being able to dispatch the most appropriate units to incidents. This important innovation will evolve into specialized T-R-Vs that will operate with the addition of a Physician’s Assistant or other enhanced triage and treatment capability. This will include the possibility of treat and release protocols, as well as the transportation of patients to facilities other than hospital emergency rooms when appropriate. This effort is intended to help reduce overcrowding in the emergency rooms, reduce overall medical costs and reduce other expenses associated with transport of non-insured patients.
Selden Fire District, Selden, New York (Volunteer)
Selden Fire Department has undertaken a number of key initiatives to advance their EMS response and to minimize reliance on mutual aid. The innovations that the Department instituted include assigning all members to shifts on the ambulance squad. The ambulance squad program has been a resounding success – covering 100 percent of calls without calling for mutual aid.
The commitment of this Fire Department to provide exceptional care to the community it serves is evident by this team response to the changing demographics in its region. Recognizing that the town has a growing aging population that requires frequent ALS intervention, Selden Fire Department added new volunteer paramedics and EMT CCs and developed a funding strategy for ensuring members receive the highest level of training in critical care. In addition to the training, the Department has outfitted eight Advanced Life Support volunteer responders with Zoll monitors, drug bags, EMS supplies and radios and positioned them around town to shorten response times.
This commitment to its community has earned Selden Fire Department the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award in the volunteer category.
Center Point Fire District, Center Point, Alabama (Combination)
Center Point Fire District is recognized as one of Alabama’s most advanced Fire Service-Based EMS Departments. It is those advances in EMS training and participation in research and development programs that earned Center Point this year’s excellence award.
Center Point covers 60 square miles and serves a population of 65,000. Last year, the department responded to more than 7,000 incidents. Among its many programs to enhance emergency medical services, Center Point has a partnership with the University of Alabama Birmingham Medical School in a “Ride Along” program. UAB medical students perform rotations on ALS transports units where they gain valuable knowledge in pre-hospital emergency care. The department also participates in the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC). This unique 10-city, NIH-funded network is defining state-of-the-art EMS by conducting clinical trials of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and major trauma. The department holds the distinction of participating in the ROC program for the past seven years, a testament to its high standard of performance and commitment to state-of-the-art emergency care.
To ensure prompt medical response, especially during special events, Center Point has a Paramedic Bike Team equipped with medical supplies to treat traumas, as well as respiratory and other types of emergencies. And, as of March 31st of this year, all CPFD EMTs and paramedics are required to obtain and maintain National Registry Certification and meet biannual National Registry continuing education requirements. “Fire Service-Based EMS continues to develop innovative approaches for providing the best level of emergency medical services in the country,” said CFSI President Bill Jenaway. “CFSI is proud to co-sponsor the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award Program with the MedicAlert Foundation to recognize those fire departments on the forefront in EMS delivery innovations – innovations necessitated by changing demographics, increased call volumes, better information, changing technology and budget constraints that have impacted many jurisdictions across the nation.”
“The winners of this year’s awards have shown great ingenuity in the delivery of emergency medical care, which helped save lives in the communities they serve,” said Andrew B. Wigglesworth, President and Chief Executive Officer of MedicAlert Foundation. “We partnered with CFSI to establish this excellence award in an effort to recognize outstanding performance by fire service-based EMS programs and to promote these best practices as a resource to help other first responder programs to improve nationwide.”
Approximately 1,800 fire and emergency services leaders from across the nation attended the National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner and joined in paying tribute to the dedication and commitment of the nation’s fire and emergency services. Hosted by CFSI, the annual Dinner benefits the mission of the nonprofit policy organization, which is designed to educate members of Congress about fire and life safety issues.
About Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI)
Established in 1989, the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy institute that works with members of Congress in promoting fire and life safety issues. Working with other national fire service organizations, the Institute focuses its attention on issues that benefit all first responders. Members of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, the largest caucus in Congress, look to CFSI for guidance and information to enhance their level of understanding about the challenges and needs of our nation’s fire and EMS communities. For more information on CFSI, visit www.cfsi.org.
About MedicAlert Foundation International
Established in 1956, the nonprofit MedicAlert Foundation International pioneered the use of medical IDs and delivers the most dependable, responsive and trusted Emergency Identification and Medical Information Network. MedicAlert provides the functionality of an e-health information exchange through an innovative combination of a unique patient identifier linked to a personal health record and a live 24/7 emergency response service. MedicAlert Foundation International medical IDs alert emergency personnel to a member’s primary health conditions, medications or implanted medical devices. In addition to its 24-hour emergency response service, MedicAlert Foundation International also provides family and caregiver notification so that members can be reunited with their loved ones. MedicAlert serves millions of children and adult members in 50 different countries through a global network of licensed affiliates. Visit www.medicalert.org for more information.
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