On September 1, 2015, the Groveland Fire Department launched a new initiative to prepare the Town of Groveland to respond to emergencies related to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and improve the survival rate of SCA victims. The initiative fell under the “HEART Safe Community” program. This nationwide accreditation program recognizes communities who have and are continuing to make great efforts to improve survival from SCA. The program focuses on the following points:

  • All EMS first response vehicles are equipped with Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s)
  • AED’s placed in public/private areas that experience a high volume of at risk populations or at risk environments
  • CPR/AED training for staff in all of the public/private AED placement areas
  • CPR/AED training available to residents
  • Advanced Life Support (ALS) units dispatched to all high priority medical aid calls, to include 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.

As a community that fell in the population range of 5,001-30,000, Groveland required a total of fifty “heartbeats” to obtain HEART Safe designation. On submission of the application, Groveland had 170 “heartbeats.” On February 22, 2016 Groveland was designated as a “HEART Safe” community by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Office of Emergency Medical Services. The award was presented by OEMS Region III Executive Director, Jon Brickett at a Board of Selectmen meeting. “HEART Safe” is expected to reach many more members of the community and frequent updates will be given regarding this ongoing initiative.

The HEART Safe project coordinator is Captain Joseph Santapaola.  If you are interested in purchasing an AED for your business to prepare your employees and customers for SCA, or interested in CPR/AED classes, please contact Captain Santapaola here.