HeartSafe: County meets criteria to earn designation as safe community

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 SHEPHERDSVILLE - Keeping Bullitt County residents healthy is important to local officials and efforts to improve cardiovascular health in the county were recently recognized.  

Bullitt County has been recognized as the 11th Kentucky county to receive a HeartSafe Community designation. 

The designation, public health director Andrea Renfrow said, means the county meets certain criteria such as having individuals and businesses trained in CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators, having AEDs installed in businesses and schools, having EMS staff trained in advanced life support procedures and having EMS vehicles stocked with the proper equipment and medicine. 

Renfrow said equipping schools and businesses with AEDs and CPR training and having advanced life support personnel working for EMS increases the chances of survival for someone having a cardiovascular incident.  

“When it comes to someone having symptoms of a heart attack, every second matters,” she said. 

In order to apply to receive the designation, the Bullitt County Health Department asked local businesses and companies to submit data on the CPR classes they've had and the Bullitt County Fiscal Court had to approve the application. 

Health education coordinator Liz McGuire said businesses that chose to participate had to submit numbers for the past three years on the criteria needed for the designation.

“It wasn't easy,” McGuire said. “It took a lot of work.”

The data the county turned in was measured in heartbeats, Renfrow said, and the county earned 1,190. The minimum needed to qualify is 370. 

Emergency services director Mike Phillips said the HeartSafe Community designation reflects his departmentís efforts to bring awareness to the issue of cardiovascular incidents.  

"It shows that we're striving to improve the capability of our county to handle cardiovascular incidents," Phillips said.