SVFD receives community award for addressing cardiac arrests

Spokane Valley Fire
Spokane Valley Fire Department

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — The Spokane Valley Fire Department has received the “Heart Safe Community” Award. The International Association of Fire Chiefs EMS recognizes SVFD as one of the safest places in the country to go into cardiac arrest.

This means that SVFD gives those that suffer cardiac arrests in the community the best chance to survive a cardiac arrest. SVFD says their cardiac survival rates are 50 percent higher than the national average, saving 116 people that were clinically dead after going into cardiac arrest from 2014-2021.

They save 15 people from cardiac arrests a year, and since the beginning of the calendar year, they have a 40% increase in calls related to cardiac arrests.

“The award examines our creative approach to implementing and maintaining systems which prevent and treat cardiac-related diseases within our community,” SVFD Fire Chief Frank Soto Jr. said. “I will continue to tout our ability to save lives in cardiac arrest. We do not want anyone to have this happen, but if it happens, I hope you are in Spokane Valley Fire Department’s Fire District.”

The Heart Safe Community Award looks at how fire departments address the needs of their community.

“We respond to almost 19,000 EMS emergency calls annually,” SVFD EMS Division Chief, John Leavell said. “Our goal will always be to save as many lives as possible. We will continually research and find the best possible practices available so that we can take care of the people we serve as best as possible when they call 911.”
“As Firefighters with EMT and Paramedic credentials, we are beyond honored to have received this award and are grateful they have the community support that makes it possible to save as many lives as possible every day of every year,” SVFD Local 876 President, Shawn Pichette said.