Rocky Mount Fire Department Earns National Accolades

Rocky Mount Fire Department Earns National Award


There are heroes among us, and sadly, we often take them for granted until tragedy strikes. Then, we truly see them for the guardian angels that they are. While there is no shortage of these heroes in the Rocky Mount area, we’d like to focus on the dedicated employees of the Rocky Mount Fire Department. They serve our community every day, and we wanted to highlight some of the national accolades and innovative programs our brave firefighters have implemented.

The Heart Safe Community Award

The Rocky Mount Fire Department was one of only two departments in the entire country to be honored with this award, which recognizes agencies for dedication and creative approaches toward preventing heart-related diseases in the community.

To earn this award, the department had to:

  • Demonstrate expert use of bystander CPR to improve out-of-hospital resuscitation.
  • Provide AEDs—Automated External Defibrillators—throughout the community.
  • Demonstrate experience in advanced out-of-hospital care.
  • Showcase expertise in the use of advanced life support techniques.

What is an AED (Automated External Defibrillator)?

AEDs are portable devices that provide an electric shock to the heart, which can stop irregular heartbeats and help re-establish a normal heart rhythm. In the hands of local, nonmedical personnel, it can be used in combination with CPR and dialing 9-1-1. AEDs help ensure that those having a heart attack can get immediate help before they can get to the hospital. The Rocky Mount Fire Department helped distribute several AEDs throughout the community, so that they can be used by regular citizens to aid someone who is having a cardiac arrest or other issue.

The AED has a computer that is able to calculate whether or not defibrillation is needed and to provide audible prompts to the user in order to guide them in correctly administering help.

These are useful tools for anyone trained in how to use an AED, including individuals in these professions: 

  • Police
  • Firefighters
  • Security guards
  • Flight attendants

You can learn more about the benefits of having AEDs in the community through information from the American Heart Association.

Through a federal grant, the fire department was able to deploy a total of 151 defibrillators to 125 city locations. In addition, over the course of two years they also trained more than 4,000 citizens in the use of CPR and AED devices.

Other Interesting Facts About the Rocky Mount Fire Department

Did you know that from the time they receive a call, the firefighters have 90 seconds to get the fire truck rolling out of the bay door? There are probably several other things you may not know about the Rocky Mount Fire Department, including:

  • The Rocky Mount Fire Department has been accredited through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International in 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2018.
  • The department has an extensive fleet of engines, trucks and ladders. You can learn more about them through the Rocky Mount Fire Department’s webpage.
  • The department has a Life Safety and Training Division that provides fire prevention services, public education, fire investigation and safety training programs.

Since its inception, the Rocky Mount Fire Department has continually shown its dedication to helping members of the community through selfless compassion and ground-breaking innovation. These national accolades represent just one of the honors that the department has received throughout the years.

The Rocky Mount Fire Department is working hard to keep the citizens of Rocky Mount, NC safe. Make sure to say "Thank you!" the next time you see one of the firefighters around town!

For more information on the Rocky Mount Fire Department, you can visit the city website.

More News: Lions Club Names Rocky Mount's Firefighter and Police Officer of the Year

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