Walton Fire Protection District earns national award: ‘Training is paramount’

Douglas Clark
Douglas Clark
Douglas Clark is LINK nky's Boone County reporter

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The Walton Fire Protection District is firmly entrenched in the belief that being in lockstep with research and training is essential to serving those in need, Battalion Chief Steve Maselli told LINK nky.

“Training is paramount,” Maselli said. “On average our staff gets approximately 180 hours of additional training each year. That’s both on the fire side and emergency medical services side. You have to have so many hours of continuous training throughout the year.”

So Burlington resident Chris Blakely said he wasn’t surprised when the agency received national recognition from the American Heart Association, which awarded it with the Mission: Lifeline EMS-Gold achievement award.

“I’m not surprised by any accolade that comes their way,” Blakely said. “But they’re not in it for that. Just humble, hard working folks who want do their part to help keep the community safe. Salute!”

The honor recognizes agencies for their rapid response to those who are experiencing heart attacks or strokes, according to the American Heart Association. The award is a national initiative to advance care for those experiencing these kinds of life-threatening situations.

The American Heart Association uses research to find the best ways to treat cardiac arrest, chest pain, acute coronary syndrome patients and those exhibiting signs of heart attacks and strokes, Walton Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Steve Maselli said.

“We pull a lot of data from our one calendar year runs and we submit it to them (American Heart Association),” Maselli said. “It’s approximately 18 to 25 chest pains per quarter and probably anywhere between four and eight patients exhibiting signs and symptoms of stroke per quarter.”

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Everything begins with boots-on-the-ground interaction, Maselli said. 

“It’s the firefighters, the EMTs and the paramedics,” Maselli said. “They’re the ones that do all the work. What we do in administration is help guide the training, making sure they have the tools and the knowledge.”

Peak preparedness keeps the Walton Fire Protection District on the leading edge, he said, with upgraded training and guidelines for optimum results.

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