Winner 2009 Heart Safe Community Award
PAD Program, Small Community
     The International Association of Fire Chiefs, Emergency Medical Section and Physio-Control, Inc. have awarded us with the 2009 Heart Safe Community Award PAD Program, Small Community. Since 2001, the IAFC EMS had been recognizing fire service-based organizations that have used creative approaches to implement or maintain public access defibrillation programs within the communities they serve.
     On May 5, 2009, the Board of Heart Safe La Plata attended the Fire Rescue-Med conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, to receive their award. Scott Sholes described our program this way:

     Those of us in EMS often see our communities from a different perspective than the average citizen. We experience the realities of drug and alcohol abuse, family violence, seatbelt use, which intersections are the most dangerous, where the pedestrians get hit. And we also understand the limitations of our own EMS systems.
     I believe successful PAD programs depend very much on our ability to get community members to see sudden cardiac arrest from our perspective. In fact, we often have the uncomfortable task of exchanging the public's expectations for reality. This includes the fact that we simply cannot do this without them.
     For this reason, this award is not about Heart Safe La Plata, or Durango Fire & Rescue, Upper Pine River Fire, Los Pinos Fire, Fort Lewis Mesa Fire. This award is about an entire community—the agencies, businesses, and individuals alike—embracing the program and committing to saving lives by working together.
     Without the stunning response by the Durango area community, this hard working board here with me could not be successful. I would like to tell you about two areas in which our community really took us by surprise.
      First has been our ability to cover multiple addresses with each AED placed. As we began entering addresses into our dispatch CAD system, community members asked us to allow them to respond to their neighbors. That grew into system in which 200 AEDs cover around 11 hundred addresses in the CAD system, and that's not to mention the roving units such as with law enforcement, and various industry vehicles.
     The second surprise was our success in gaining financial buy-in for every unit placed—even when using grant funds. I can tell you, we've certainly had to work harder when asking for at least half the cost of each unit, but we've been able to place twice the number of units for the money and created a more lasting and sustainable program. Today, every location has trained and committed citizen responders.

On behalf of a very honored Heart Safe La Plata Board, La Plata County's Fire Agencies and EMS Council and the community of Durango Colorado, we thank the IAFC EMS Section and Physio-Control for this recognition.

Home, History, Documents, Map of Placements, Placements, AED Checklist, Class Schedule, Contact us

Application, Policies & Procedures, Agreement, User Checklist, Emergency Response Plan, Patient Care Report

Copyright Heart Safe La Plata, 2009. All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy