Naperville Fire Department Honored with 2017 Heart Safe Community Award

Department recognized for creative initiatives to treat cardiac arrests

The International Association of Fire Chiefs will present the 2017 Heart Safe Community Award to the Naperville Fire Department next week in recognition of the agency’s efforts to improve therapies for patients of sudden cardiac arrest.

The Heart Safe Community Award is bestowed upon two communities each year, one with a population over 100,000 and one with a population under 100,000. Naperville Fire Department will receive the award in the large community category.

“This well-deserved recognition is a direct result of the innovation, passion and hard work of the members of the Naperville Fire Department,” said Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis. “It is truly an honor to receive the Heart Safe Community Award in recognition of their outstanding efforts to not just meet the needs of the community but also to enhance the quality of life for its citizens and visitors.”

In the last few years, the Naperville Fire Department has aggressively implemented creative approaches to improving outcomes from sudden cardiac arrest as well as increasing awareness and prevention of sudden cardiac arrest and heart attacks. Most notable are the CPR/AED Program taught by Naperville Firefighter/Paramedics throughout the community, placement of public access AED’s in parks and target locations throughout the City, enabling citizens to initiate CPR prior to fire department arrival through the Pulse Point app for mobile devices, and the recent implementation of the E-Bridge early notification application with Edward Hospital Emergency Medical Services System.

E-Bridge is a smart phone application that allows paramedic crews to notify the hospital of a cardiac event while still on the scene of an incident, giving the hospital more time to prepare for the patient, even pre-registering the patient to allow hospital staff to take the patient directly into treatment upon arrival without first stopping at a room in the emergency department.  The application is able to send secure images and messages directly to the Emergency Room physician with future capability of sending short video.

Last year the Naperville Fire Department noted an overall Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC) rate of 26 percent in the field, which is above the national average. Additionally, of the patients who achieved ROSC, six were discharged from the hospital with no neurological deficit. This represents a survival rate of 10.2 percent, which is above the national average of 8.2 percent.

Members of the Naperville Fire Department will accept the Heart Safe Community Award on May 22, 2017 at the International Association of Fire Chiefs Fire Rescue Med Conference in Nevada.

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About Naperville: Located 28 miles west of Chicago, Naperville, Ill., is home to approximately 145,000 people. This vibrant, thriving city consistently ranks as a top community in the nation in which to live, raise children and retire. The city is home to acclaimed public and parochial schools, the best public library system in the country, an array of healthcare options and an exceptionally low crime rate. Naperville has ready access to a variety of public transportation, housing and employment options. The city’s diversified employer base features high technology firms, retailers and factories, as well as small and home-based businesses. Residents also enjoy world-class parks, diverse worship options, the opportunity to serve on several City boards and commissions, a thriving downtown shopping and dining area, a renowned outdoor history museum known as Naper Settlement and an active civic community. For more information, please visit our website at www.naperville.il.us.