How to Make Your Community HEARTSafe

The distinction of HEARTSafe is an accolade given by the Department of Public Health for communities striving to protect the heart health of their citizens. A community designated HEARTSafe has effectively prepared their citizens to recognize when someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and more importantly, how to respond.

CPR education and Automated External Defibrillators (AED) training all contribute to a community’s “Heartbeat” score  which, depending on population size, determines whether a community is HEARTSafe. Communities with a population of 5,000 need around 30 Heartbeats while larger communities in the 100,000-150,000 range need closer to 300.

Sudden cardiac arrest can happen at any time, to anyone, and especially anywhere. Be it student athletes or the elderly, most of the time it is fatal. However, through town initiatives such as HEARTSafe, a designation approved by the Department of Public Health in conjunction with the American Heart Association, SCA fatalities can be curbed immensely.

5 Ways to Earn Heartbeats

SCA Awareness:

Educating the public on heart health, prevention and warning signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest equates to 15 Heartbeats for each event with 20 plus participants.

Emergency Response Plan:
All schools with a written response plan in case of a medical emergency warrants 10 Heartbeats.

CPR & AED Training:
Free public education on proper CPR techniques and AED training generates 10 Heartbeats per event granted at least 10 participants attend.

Early Defibrillation:
Providing easy public access to AEDs allows for 10 Heartbeats per pad in the community.

Post Cardiac Arrest Treatment:
A set of guidelines on best practices of transporting post cardiac arrest patients to facilities with the appropriate capacity to treat the victim produces 10 Heartbeats

Ask yourself, if someone in your community suffers a sudden cardiac arrest tomorrow, how many people would be able to recognize it, perform CPR, and know how to properly use an AED? These questions are essential for that community member’s chance of survival.

How to Make Your Community HEARTSafe

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