Pawtucket – This past February, the City of Pawtucket earned its HEARTSafe Community designation by the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Program and the American Heart Association, Providence Affiliate. There are now signs located throughout the City promoting this fact.
“As a city, we worked very hard to earn the HEARTSafe designation and we want to be able to promote that designation to Pawtucket’s residents, while raising awareness in the community,” said Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien. The signs are located at some of the main arteries and entry ways into the City to alert residents that they are entering a HEARTSafe community.
The HEARTSafe initiative is based on the principle that lives can be saved by being prepared with prevention, early access to care, early CPR, early defibrillation, and early advanced care. The goals of the RI HEARTSafe Community Program are to increase the number of community members trained in Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), increase the number of first responders equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and to ensure community members receive pre-arrival instructions, prior to first responders arriving on scene.
During the assessment and application process, Pawtucket earned points for activities that further the goal of saving lives from cardiac arrest. Examples of such activities include CPR/AED classes, placement of AEDs in public places, promoting CPR/AED response through public safety officials, and developing a process to evaluate our community’s HEARTSafe program.
The chances of surviving sudden cardiac arrest have been proven to greatly increase when bystanders or lay rescuers dial 9-1-1, initiate high quality chest compressions and use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) before emergency services arrive on the scene. “The HEARTSafe Community designation is an extremely worthwhile program as it gets more people trained in lifesaving techniques,” said Fire Chief William Sisson. “This will increase the survival rate for people suffering from a cardiac event because they will have more trained people around them in the community,” continued Sisson.
The HEARTSafe designation was earned through a collaborative effort between the City’s Fire Department, Police Department, Emergency Management Agency, School Department and Recreation Department. For more information on HEARTSafe, contact Norm Menard, EMS Coordinator for the City of Pawtucket at NMenard@pawtucketpolice.com.
Photo: Pawtucket Fire Chief William Sisson, Advocacy Ambassador for the American
Heart Association Miriam Plitt, Pawtucket /Central Falls Emergency Management
Director Norm Menard. Photo taken on George Street in Pawtucket.