Fredericksburg has now been designated a HEARTSafe Community, meaning that residents, visitors and businesses are assured that important training, awareness and investment has been accomplished to increase the likelihood of living through sudden cardiac arrest in the city.
The Fredericksburg Fire Department, in collaboration with Mary Washington Healthcare, other city departments, and private partners have been awarded the designation through a concerted effort to strengthen a “chain of survival” in Fredericksburg. This puts automated external defibrillators (AED’s) in public places and police vehicles, ensures well-trained employees are able to respond in an emergency situation, and makes advanced life support staff available to respond to emergencies with more frequency.
The years-long effort to strengthen response to cardiac emergencies has included annual training and certification for all city employees in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. The city has also made the most current American Heart Association protocols available to the city’s emergency medical service and the emergency dispatch center.
HEARTSafe is an international organization that encourages communities to proactively address heart health issues. To date in Virginia, only Stafford and King George Counties as well as the campuses of the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech have been designated HEARTSafe communities.
Fredericksburg’s improved response and awareness of cardiac events has been spearheaded by the Fire Department’s Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management, Victor Podbielski.

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