The 2018 award was presented to the Alpena, MI Fire Department and the Illini Emergency Medical Services/Illinois Fire Service Institute. The Alpena Fire Department (AFD) was honored in the career category for innovations in interventional cardiac care that includes a fire-based Mobile Intensive Care unit capable of transporting patients to the nearest cardiac care center located 2.5 hours away, and a High-Performance CPR training program and increased placement of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the community.
The recipient in the volunteer/combination category, the Illini Emergency Medical Services (IEMS) is a student program within the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI). IEMS provides non-transport care to the 58,000 students, staff and faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus and delivers a proactive program to improve acute cardiac care capabilities within its service area. Elements of the multi-faceted program included compiling data on AED locations and operational status and conducting Hands-On CPR training at public outreach events. In 2017, IEMS trained 1,297 individuals in CPR – a 206% increase from 2016 – and increased the number of active American Heart Association certified CPR instructors from 16 to 19. The organization also added 42 AEDs around campus filling gaps in coverage.
Chief Bill Forbush accepted the award on behalf of the Alpena Fire Department and Colonel Royal Mortenson, IFSI Director, accepted on behalf of IEMS.