Robert B. Lay, Fire Chief
Public Safety Building
181 Main St
Groveland, MA 01834
For Immediate Release
Friday, Feb. 26, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Groveland Fire Department Designated HEART Safe Community
GROVELAND – Chief Robert Lay and the Groveland Fire Department are pleased to announce that Groveland was designated a HEART Safe Community this week.
The HEART Safe Community program is designed to help individual cities and towns improve their system for preventing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) from becoming irreversible death. The first HEART Safe program began in Massachusetts in 2002.
The department has been working on this achievement for the last six months and received the designation through the state’s Office of Emergency Medical Services.
“I came across the Heart Safe Program while working with the EMS Division to improve the service we provide to residents, and knew immediately that we needed it here. Nick Valentini, EMS Director with Georgetown Fire Department was instrumental in pointing us in the right direction,” said Firefighter Taylor Balletto, who is Groveland’s HEART Safe project coordinator. “They have had much success with community involvement over there and we hope for the same here. It is all about people having the training and tools to help their friends and loved ones before trained responders can arrive to render aid.”
Jon Brickett, Region III Executive Director for the Office of Emergency Medical Services, presented the award to Groveland officials during a Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday night.
“This designation is the result of the hard work and dedication of the Groveland Fire Department and the newly formed EMS Division. We have cities and towns who have full time staff who have been struggling for years to obtain this designation,” Brickett said. “Groveland’s application was approved in three days. It is an honor for Groveland to be my first Heart Safe designation as Region III Executive Director.”
HEART Safe is a nationwide program that recognizes communities that are continuing to make efforts to improve the survival from SCA. To earn the designations, communities must meet several requirements:
- Equip all EMS first response vehicles with Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
- Place AEDs in public/private areas that experience a high volume of at risk populations or at risk environments.
- Train staff in all of the public/private AED placement areas to use the devices and in CPR.
- Provide CPR/AED training to residents.
- Dispatch Advanced Life Support units to all high priority medical aid calls, including SCA.
- The fire department must provide a written summary of the current state of community preparedness and have an ongoing process to evaluate how care is provided to SCA victims.
“The significance of this honor demonstrates our commitment to the community that we serve and is consistent with our mission of public education and emergency medical services,” Chief Lay said. “The EMS Division and Firefighter Balletto should be recognized for their efforts and hard work. This is a proud moment for our department and the community as a whole.”
Residents are encouraged to visit the Groveland Fire Department website to learn more about the program.