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Press Release

International Association of Fire Chiefs Heart Safe Community Award

Release Date: May 24, 2012

Contact Information:
Joheida Fister email icon , Fire Marshal, (843)682-5140


The Town of Hilton Head Island Fire& Rescue was recognized by the EMS Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) with the presentation of the Heart Safe Community Award. Representatives from the Town of Hilton Head Island, Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue and Hilton Head Hospital were on hand to receive the award at the Fire Rescue Med conference on May 8th.

Each year the IAFC's EMS section recognizes one large community (population > 100,000) and one small community (population < 100,000). The Town of Hilton Head Island received the award in the small community category. Across the nation, the IAFC identifies that over 6000 EMS systems are fire department based (40%) and operate with the same mission as Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue to provide a prompt and high level of EMS care to the community.

In receiving the award, Fire & Rescue demonstrated 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 continuous quality resuscitation improvements.

Greg DeLoach, Assistant Town Manager, remarked that this success would not be possible without the time and efforts of our community partners. These partners include the many community members that take time to attend the CPR classes we provide, the public facilities and private security agencies that participate in our early defibrillation/AED program, and Hilton Head Hospital physicians and staff.

Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue personnel ~ firefighter/Paramedics, firefighter/ EMTs, Dispatchers, Medical Control Physicians and staff spend countless hours in cardiac care research and training. Our comprehensive emergency cardiovascular care program that was developed by Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue and Hilton Head Hospital has several components:

Training citizens in bystander CPR

Enhanced 911 Dispatcher training in recognizing potential cardiac arrests and CPR instructions.