CFSI and Masimo to Recognize Two Fire Departments for Excellence in Emergency Medical Services

The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and Masimo will honor the Winona Fire Department and Phoenix Fire Department with the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award. The award presentation will take place on April 25th at the 31st Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner in Washington, DC.

First presented in 2011, the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award has recognized fire departments from across the nation for developing and enhancing the delivery of emergency medical services to address the growing challenges in delivering emergency medical care. By showcasing these practices, the award program provides fire departments across the nation with ideas for enhancing their own fire service-based EMS systems.

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 mail 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 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. Knowing that stroke outcomes are measured by very specific intervention criteria, data indicate that this collaborative response strategy has met or exceeded even the most optimistic goals in emergency stroke care. It is envisioned that the MSU model will be implemented throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area Automatic Aid Dispatch System. The Phoenix Fire Department is also partnering with Arizona State University to perform a study measuring the economic impact of the MSU on the Phoenix community. This patient-centered innovation demonstrates what is possible through a partnership between a major metropolitan fire department and a major health care system jointly focused on addressing a significant community need.

“CFSI takes great pride in co-sponsoring the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award with Masimo,” said CFSI President Bill Jenaway. “Through this awards program, we can recognize important innovations and meritorious commitments in fire service-based emergency medical care – such as those implemented by our 2019 award recipients – and share those innovations with other departments seeking to enhance their own EMS systems.”

While the 2019 recipients have been selected for our four major awards, we encourage you to visit our website to learn more about these awards for next year.