Operation Save Heart

In 2000 the Talbot County Paramedic Foundation, under the leadership of President William Howard, implemented the first countywide public access AED (automated external defibrillator) program on the Eastern Shore. The Paramedic Foundation was instrumental in previous community service projects including providing Freezer Packs for medical information and smoke detectors to each resident of Talbot County. All Talbot County offices and schools along with many local government agencies, police cars, golf courses and many other private facilities now have AEDs on site. There are more than 110 AEDs distributed throughout the county at locations as diverse as the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Easton Bank and Trust, Lowe’s, Dockside Express, Christ Church, and Talbot Special Riders. TCEMS provides training in CPR and use of the AED for all participants. Operation Save Heart quickly became a model for other AED programs in the nation. The program was so successful it was recognized as the premier Public Access Defibrillator program in the nation by the International Association of Fire Chiefs in 2001. The program is also spotlighted on the National Center for Early Defibrillation website.

Freezer Pack Program

In 2000 the Talbot County Paramedic Foundation, under the leadership of President William Howard, implemented the first countywide public access AED (automated external defibrillator) program on the Eastern Shore. The Paramedic Foundation was instrumental in previous community service projects including providing Freezer Packs for medical information and smoke detectors to each resident of Talbot County. All Talbot County offices and schools along with many local government agencies, police cars, golf courses and many other private facilities now have AEDs on site. There are more than 110 AEDs distributed throughout the county at locations as diverse as the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Easton Bank and Trust, Lowe’s, Dockside Express, Christ Church, and Talbot Special Riders. TCEMS provides training in CPR and use of the AED for all participants. Operation Save Heart quickly became a model for other AED programs in the nation. The program was so successful it was recognized as the premier Public Access Defibrillator program in the nation by the International Association of Fire Chiefs in 2001. The program is also spotlighted on the National Center for Early Defibrillation website.

Operation Safe Home

Back in 1988, every Talbot County resident received in their mailboxes an emergency information packet containing a medical form with a plastic envelope for inclusion in the household freezer, a guide how to recognize an oncoming stroke, questions and answers on the H1N1 virus, and an emergency preparedness guide.

The effort, called “Operation Safe Home” was organized by the Talbot Paramedic Foundation and was the first of a two phase effort to help protect Talbot County citizens. The effort was co-sponsored by Talbot Emergency Management, Hills Drug Store, Lowes of Easton, Talbot Fire and Rescue Association, and Talbot Health Department WCEI Radio and The Star Democrat.

The mailing hit homes the end of September 1988. The envelope also contained a paramedic sticker and instructions to fill out the form for each person in the household including medications, dosage, and other medical information a paramedic would need in the event of an emergency. The stickers were placed on the front of the freezer in the kitchen allow paramedics to look for the information in the event of an emergency. This was the fifth such mailing according to Will Howard, President of Talbot Paramedic Foundation, who said it has been a life saver over the years. “The paramedics tell me that the freezer packs have been very helpful to seniors especially. When an emergency occurs it is difficult for anyone to remember medications and dosages.”

As a second step in the Safe Home effort two dozen fire fighters and volunteers canvassed selected neighborhoods suggested by the Department of Social Services installing or repairing 120 smoke detectors. The event, led by Easton Fire Department Chief C. R. Chance on behalf of Talbot County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association included members from Easton, Queen Anne and Trappe fire companies.

“The effort will continue into the future,” said Chance, “anyone may call and we will come out with free smoke detectors and batteries.”

The effort was financed and co-sponsored by Talbot Emergency Management, Hills Drug Store, Lowes of Easton, Talbot Fire and Rescue Association, and Talbot Health Department WCEI Radio and The Star Democrat.

senior_center_smoke_detectors“We are very proud of and grateful to the members of our emergency services in Talbot County who risk their lives every day for us,” said Howard. “We are also grateful to those members of the community who helped including our sponsors, Talbot Senior Center and the many workers at Blue Heron Mailing.

In 2001 the International Association of Fire Chiefs recognized Talbot Paramedic Foundation for organizing the first small community project installing multiple Advanced Automated Defibrillators in public facilities and private businesses. Called “Operation Save Heart,” the effort has saved several lives in the community since, including earlier this year at Lowes building supply and the Talbot YMCA in August.