Hernando County (FL) Fire Corps Wins 2011 Award of Excellence

Fire Corps is pleased to announce that the Hernando County (FL) Fire Corps is the recipient of the 2011 Fire Corps Award of Excellence. An honorable mention was also given to the Teen Advocates for Community Safety (TACS) from the Cedar Park (TX) Fire Department. Sponsored by the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) and Fire Protection Publications, the Award of Excellence is presented each year to a Fire Corps program whose notable achievements in the fire and emergency services and the community demonstrate exceptional performance.

Representatives from Hernando County Fire Corps will attend the annual Fire Corps National Advisory Committee (NAC) meeting in November to accept the award and be recognized for their program’s success. The program will receive a personalized award, and each member will receive certificates and t-shirts to honor them for their contribution to the program. Hernando County representatives will also have the opportunity to meet with Fire Corps NAC members, which consist of representatives from nearly every major national fire service organization.

The Hernando County Fire Corps has 29 community volunteers supporting local firefighters, police officers, and emergency personnel. The team provides a variety of services including performing clerical duties, conducting fire safety education, and providing rehabilitative services for emergency personnel.

Each member of the Hernando County Fire Corps must complete a 40-hour training course that includes topics such as CPR, AED (automated external defibrillator), patient assessment and carrying techniques, splinting, blood pressure, pulse readings, scene management, and other first aid practices to ensure they are prepared to fulfill their role.

Fire Corps volunteers each pay a fee to subscribe to a caller deployment system. When an emergency occurs, volunteers receive a call on their cell phones from the deployment center dispatcher. A team of volunteers arrive on the scene with a rehab truck and trailer containing items such as water, ice, a generator, fans, and medical equipment. Thanks to their training, volunteers are prepared to monitor firefighters during the response to ensure their blood pressure and blood oxygen remain in the safe range during emergencies. Team members provide similar services to police or other emergency responders when requested.

To learn more about the Hernando County Fire Corps, contact Public Relations Officer Stephen Katz at 352-546-4353 or email at askatz03@bellsouth.net.

Fire Corps has also awarded an honorable mention to the Cedar Park TACS team, which provides teens with the opportunity to serve their community and learn about the fire and emergency services. The program has approximately 30 members and has been recognized with the 2010 Texas Lone Star Achievement Award and the 2010 Citizen Corps National Achievement Award.

Award Sponsors

The mission of IFSTA is to identify areas of need for training materials and foster the development and validation of training materials for the fire service and related areas. IFSTA is an association of fire service personnel who are dedicated to upgrading firefighting techniques and safety through training.

Fire Protection Publications, a department of Oklahoma State University, is the headquarters for IFSTA. Fire Protection Publications’ primary function is to publish and disseminate training manuals as proposed and validated by IFSTA.