Kent Volunteer Fire Department was recognized with a special award May 17 by the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
Kent has been named a HEARTSafe Community by the Department of Public Health. It started the HEARTSafe Communities program in the spring of 2006 to foster community environments that improve the survival odds for people suffering sudden cardiac events, such as cardiac arrests or heart attacks.
A HEARTSafe Community promotes and supports the American Heart Association’s “chain of survival,” which is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training in the community; public access to defibrillation through strategic placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for use by trained community members; trained and equipped first responders and early advanced care.
Kent is one of 109 towns and cities in the state that have achieved the three-year HEARTSafe designation, along with seven companies located in the state.
Kent has demonstrated its commitment toward ensuring that its residents and visitors receive the early lifesaving response proven to increase the chances of survival for heart attack victims.
Designation as a HEARTSafe Community represents a true community effort. Most importantly it recognizes the citizens throughout the community that took the time and effort to become CPR and AED certified.
It has been proven that educating the public to recognize cardiac events will save lives by proving prompt emergency response and care, starting with informed and trained bystanders and continuing through first responders to advanced pre-hospital emergency care.
The HEARTSafe Community program was developed in Massachusetts and spread to many New England states. It is hoped that the program will spread across the country.
There is a clear need for this program. Only 13 percent of Connecticut adults know all the proper heart attack signs. These signs include recurring chest discomfort or pain, pain in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach; shortness of breath; and other symptoms that may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness.
For more information, see www.ct.gove/dph/heartsafe.