WFC News

Posted: Jun 17, 2019

Health Data Collaboration Will Improve Outcomes for Medical Emergencies

Orlando, June 18, 2019 – Too often life-saving medical data isn’t available to first responders during emergencies. A new collaboration between the American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives, and emergency technology company, RapidSOS, will help solve this issue by teaming up to promote a voluntary registry for citizens to share data with 911 and first responders. People can provide opt-in profile information and individual health data, personalizing care and positively transforming emergency outcomes.  

“Heart disease and stroke are the 1st and 5th leading causes of death in the United States. If emergency medical responders had access to a patient’s medical information when arriving on-scene, this could dramatically change the way in which care is delivered and tailored to the person’s medical needs,” said Michael Kurz, MD, chair of the American Heart Association’s Systems of Care Subcommittee and associate professor at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine. “Delays in recognition and treatment of time-sensitive conditions like heart attacks, strokes and cardiac arrest can be the difference between life and death. RapidSOS may help us close the gap between emergency medical response and patients, resulting in better and more efficient emergency care.”

Actionable Medical Information in the Hands of Emergency Services

Public safety professionals are trained to respond as quickly as possible to medical emergencies, but our nation’s 9-1-1 system was built over 50 years ago for landlines phones, making it nearly impossible to digitally send any data to 9-1-1 and first responders. The result is that callers need to verbally relay personal and contextual information to the 9-1-1 telecommunicator in order to get appropriate care. During cardiac arrest, every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation decreases the chances of survival by 7-10%.      

The joint solution with RapidSOS will provide patient medical and personal information directly to public safety personnel during a 9-1-1 call at no cost. This will, enable a data-driven and situationally-aware emergency response which can reduce the time to diagnosis and treatment. Examples of data transmitted will include information on medical history, allergies, medications, medical devices and emergency contacts.      

Individuals will be able to submit their selected information through a secure database for the exclusive access of authorized 9-1-1 agencies. As long as a 9-1-1 center has access to RapidSOS, they will be able to see the data, anywhere in the country. You can sign up for early access here. 

“Seconds save lives during emergencies and providing responders with medical information for a patient can make all the difference in the outcome of an incident,” says Michael Martin, CEO of RapidSOS. “Legacy 9-1-1 infrastructure, however, does not connect first responders with the medical data they need to provide the best possible care. We are thrilled to work with the American Heart Association to make patient health data available to emergency medical professionals through modern emergency infrastructure.”

"RapidSOS and the American Heart Association are giving emergency professionals access to critical information to effectively respond to medical emergencies," said Dr. Francesca Dominici, Co-Director of the Data Science Initiative at Harvard University. "This work will produce more efficient, better prepared medical response, saving lives."

Access for Any Public Safety Agency Nationwide

Public safety agencies can access supplemental life-saving inf

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Posted: Jun 17, 2019

Connecticut Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment Ad Wins Regional Emmy

June 17, 2019 | Cromwell, CT – Last Saturday night, the “See You Out There” public service announcement launched by the Everyday Hero CT volunteer firefighter recruitment campaign in April 2018 won a Boston/New England Regional Emmy® Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. 



The 60-second video, produced in partnership with Hebron volunteer firefighter and New York Citybased cinematographer Matthew Troy (pictured on the left in the above Tweet), was designed to increase awareness and visibility for the volunteer firefighter shortage in Connecticut. Three versions of the PSA (30-, 60-, and 90-second videos) include captivating footage and visually groundbreaking moments as well as feature fire personnel from 16 different departments, including at least one from every county in Connecticut. 

“We set out to make a PSA the Connecticut fire service would be proud of,” says Matthew Troy. “As a filmmaker, I wanted to create the best production possible to share this message. It was a team effort, from so many people, and I am humbled by this recognition. I proudly share this honor with everyone who took part in this journey.” 

Highlighting volunteer firefighters operating at various emergency scenes and performing some of the many skills they possess thanks to the professional training they receive, the PSA illustrates that volunteer firefighters come from all walks of life. They’re male, female, teachers, business owners, retirees, mothers, fathers, students, and more. And, they want more members of their communities to answer the call. The video ends with a plea: “So, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to make a difference? Are you ready to join our team? Your community needs you. We need you.” 

“We knew from the start that Matthew’s passion for volunteerism and the fire service combined with his filmmaking talents were going to give us a recruitment piece like none we’d ever seen,” says Everyday Hero CT program manager Fred Dudek, retired chief of the Killingworth Volunteer Fire Company. “And, it’s working. We’re getting more and more inquiries every day. The Emmy® win is beyond anything we could have imagined.”  

Connecticut has more than 300 fire departments staffed by over 26,000 firefighters, 83 percent of whom are volunteers and are professionally trained. Volunteer firefighters can be called upon 24 hours per day, seven days per week to abandon the warmth and comfort of their homes in the middle of the night or during a holiday celebration, leave the fun of family gatherings on sunny summer afternoons, enter burning buildings, rescue stranded hikers and struggling swimmers, extricate victims from automobiles, and more. Volunteer firefighters save their communities millions of dollars every year.  

The majori

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Posted: Jun 17, 2019

Video: FDNY Rescue 5 Rescues Stuck Engine

Skyler Fire - Exclusive catch of FDNY Rescue 5 pulling Engine 245 out of a sand bank during a three-alarm fire in Coney Island.

Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment:
More to Winches Than You Might Think
Recovering Stuck Fire Apparatus

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Posted: Jun 17, 2019

Gallery: Detroit (MI) Rigs and Stations by Steve Redick

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Posted: Jun 17, 2019

9-alarm fire starts in vacant Boston building, spreads to 7 homes, 7 firefighters injured officials say

VIDEO: A nine-alarm fire tore through a Lower Mills neighborhood in Dorchester on Saturday, displacing 14 residents, according to Boston fire officials. The Boston Fire Department said nine people, including seven firefighters, were treated and transported to a hospital by Boston Emergency Medical Services.
- PUB DATE: 6/17/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WCVB-TV NBC 5
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