An Upper Arlington firefighter was honored last week with the Dr. Mary E. Fontana EMS Distinguished Service Award for his work to create a community CPR training program.
In 2011, firefighter and paramedic Lt. Christopher Moore secured a grant for approximately $2,560 to purchase educational materials and supplies that led to the establishment of a community CPR training program.
Since then, 174 people have completed the three-hour course provided by the Upper Arlington Fire Division, which trains them to respond to choking and cardiac arrest episodes by using CPR and automated electronic defibrillators (AEDs).
Moore is the ninth person to receive the Fontana award.
It's a recognition that's well deserved, according to Fire Chief Jeff Young.
"I'm exceptionally happy," Young said. "Chris did a great job when he was in the office training EMS (among UA firefighters).
"He saw an opportunity to create training for the community, and that really starts with education of the public for what to do when they see an instance of cardiac arrest."
Reached by telephone last week, Moore said he was pleasantly surprised to receive the award.
"I didn't know I was nominated and I was very appreciative that some people did recognize the work we did to get the (community CPR training) program together," he said. "It's been shown that communities that have a strong CPR program do have increases in survivals from cardiac arrest."
Moore has been a UA firefighter since 2000 and a paramedic since 2005.
As an American Heart Association-certified instructor, he helped establish the community CPR training program, which does not generate revenue for the UAFD, but is self-sustaining.
"People pay their $20 to take the class," he said. "Twelve dollars of that gets them the instructional book, and each class generates about $1.50 for supplies.
"It's a three-hour class, and it's video-based education. We show the techniques and then we give them the opportunity to practice the techniques while we walk around and coach them."
Moore said the program is offered every other month, although he hopes to spur more participation and make classes available on a monthly basis.
"The course also covers choking in adults, children and infants," he said. "The class is designed to be given to anyone 10 and up."
Additional information about the community CPR training course is available under a link to the Upper Arlington Parks & Recreation's Lifelong Learning Program on the city's website at uaoh.net.
"I'm really appreciative of the award," Moore said. "I think it really speaks to the merit of the program and I certainly hope we continue to get good enrollment and participation in the class."
According to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Fontana, now retired, was named one of "America's Best Doctors" in 2009 and received an "Outstanding Teacher Award" from OSU's College of Medicine more than 20 times.
She has served as chairwoman of the Upper Arlington paramedic advisory board, as well as a CPR advisory board member in Franklin County, advanced cardiac life support adviser for Columbus Technical Institute, adviser to the regional paramedic protocol committee and member of the MedFlight committee.
Fontana was the charter recipient of the UA Fire Division's EMS Distinguished Service Award in 2000; the award later was named in her honor.