The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and Masimo honored the Winona Fire Department and Phoenix Fire Department with the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award.
The Winona (OH) Fire Department received the award in the volunteer/combination category. Located in Columbiana County, OH, the department first responds to a 33 square mile rural community of approximately 4,700 residence. There are no BLS/ALS units in the coverage area, so the volunteer personnel took the initiative to enroll in EMS classes at their own expense to become certified as first responders and EMTs. Since the implementation of the program, the department has responded to hundreds of EMS calls, with several saves reported in their first due area and an adjoining jurisdiction. In addition, the department launched an annual symposium five years ago featuring national public safety speakers. The program allows first responders in the area to receive additional education that they could otherwise receive at national conferences if not for financial and work-related considerations.
The Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department is receiving the award in the career category. In 2016, the Phoenix Fire Department and Dignity Health Care Systems began discussions to implement mobile stroke unit response capability into the pre-hospital EMS response system. Through this unique partnership, and generous philanthropic support from the Phoenix Thunderbird Charities, the first Barrows Emergency Stroke Treatment Unit (Best-U Mobile Stroke Unit or MSU1) went in service in 2017. This progressive patient care initiative is consistent with the vision of integrating the capabilities of the emergency room into the fire department emergency response system to produce more positive patient outcomes. The Phoenix Fire Department Regional Dispatch Center has dispatched MSU1 with Phoenix Fire Department response units on more than 1300 emergency calls. MSU1 has arrived on the scene more than 475 times, and of those, well over 400 patients have received complete stroke assessment, care, and transportation to the closest, most appropriate, stroke center.