A HEARTsafe community is a grassroots movement that has spread across many US States and to other countries around the world. It is a loosely held organization that is without leaders. It is an idea that has taken shape around the American Heart Association's chain of survival model. It is supported in each community by use of a peer system of healthcare, civic and community leadership. It is a free program that can be started by anyone in any community.

The Chain of Survival

The HEARTsafe Community is a set of standards that are used to meet the heart safe goals. The minimum criteria are goals that work to support the "Chain of Survival" and focus on cardiac care for sudden onset of heart attacks as well as prevention. The skill sets include:

  • CPR Certification: The goal would be to offer CPR Training on a regular schedule so that the majority of the population is proficient in providing CPR during an emergency. This is the first link in the chain of survival.
  • Public Access to Defibrillators: The goal would be for civic leadership to supply or create laws that require defibrillators available to the public in locations such as subway stations, malls, city buildings, etc.
  • Enhanced training programs: The goal would be to focus on training that was available and geared towards the public to enhance the chain of survival. This would include CPR and AED training, First Aid and Advanced First Aid training, and can even include first responder classes.
  • Aggressive Care Standards: The goal is to do as much as possible for every victim of sudden onset of Cardiac Arrest. The plan stems from the first responder all the way to the ER.

This Is Not A New Movement

These communities that are emphasized by cardiac awareness and education are not new. The first community started in 2000 in the state of Massachusetts. Since 2002, there have been heart smart communities sprouting up all over the United States and throughout the world in nations such as Taiwan. These communities have taken the steps to become accredited to be HEARTsafe communities. The programs start most often through individual state's department of health or the public health department. It is important that there be resounding support because laws will need to change as will policies on how to care for cardiac patients. This involves the entire chain of survival which includes first responders, fire departments, EMS, and hospitals. The process is grassroots, and action can begin before the start of such a program.

What You Can Do To help


If you are a non-medical person, you can begin by learning CPR and then taking an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) class. You can also help to start a community by writing letters to your states department of health, local government, and even to the governor of your state. The more voices that you can get to join your cause the more successful your cause may become. Plus, reaching out is also a great way to discover is there is already a movement towards building such a community. 

If you are a medical person, you can continue or advance your training. Maintain your CPR status and learn how to use an AED. Talk with your supervisors about promoting about promoting health and heart education. 

Everyone can help by encouraging more people to become CRP certified, First Aid certified, and by taking Advanced First Aid and AED classes. The more people who understand the importance of the chain of survival the easier it will be to achieve your goals. 

For comprehensive CPR certification, First Aid, Advanced First Aid and AED training classes contact Advanced First Aid. We offer all of these classes on a continual basis. Being prepared is the first step on saving a life. 

Sign up for a CPR or AED training today. 




 

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