Howard fire and rescue officials honored for innovation

The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services was honored last week for recent innovations in emergency medical services that were recognized for improving cardiac care response times and minimizing cardiac emergencies.

Among the programs cited by the Medic Alert Foundation and the Congressional Fire Services Institute was the department's Community Hands-Only CPR program, which partners with organizations including the county schools. Through the partnership, the department purchased mannequins for local schools and has provided “train-the-trainer” instruction for teachers to train all students in CPR.

The program has now been mandated for the schools and is a graduation requirement for sixth- and eighth-graders. During an awards ceremony, students demonstrated what they had learned.

Those attending the ceremony included Bill Webb, executive director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute, and Andrew Wigglesworth, CEO and president of MedicAlert Foundation. They presented the Fire Service-Based EMS Award to County Executive Ken Ulman and Fire/EMS Chief William Goddard.

Officials said Howard's program will serve as a model as the new state law takes effect that requires all ninth- and 12-grade students in Maryland to learn CPR.

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