East Pierce Fire & Rescue was nationally recognized today for its efforts to prevent and treat cardiac-related diseases.
The agency was chosen out of those serving communities of fewer than 100,000 to receive the 2013 Heart Safe Community Award.
East Pierce was chosen for its efforts during the past two years to start a cardiac arrest resuscitation program that included “high-performance” CPR training for firefighters, debriefs after calls and participation in a program that compares East Pierce to other state agencies.
The effort has improved cardiac arrest survival rates, according to the department.
East Pierce also started a free, one-hour CPR training class targeting older residents, which has had more than 150 participants as of the end of 2012.
In addition to other school training programs it does, the department added a CPR refresher for 10th graders at local high schools. It now trains 1,500 students annually.
More than 600 adults get American Heart Association CPR training per year from East Pierce at citizen classes.
The International Association of Fire Chiefs EMS Section and Physio-Control Inc. presented the award at the Fire-Rescue MED Conference in Las Vegas.
Tulsa Fire Department of Oklahoma received the award for agencies serving communities of more than 100,000.