HeartSafe Community Program

The Rhode Island HeartSafe Community Program is a collaborative effort between the Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Program and the American Heart Association, Providence Affiliate. This initiative is based on the principle that lives can be saved by being prepared with prevention, early access to care, early CPR, early defibrillation, and early advanced care The goals of the RI HeartSafe Community Program are to:

  • Increase the number of community members Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) trained;
  • Increase the number of first responders equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs); and
  • Ensure appropriate pre-arrival instructions and optimize the prehospital care system.

What Communities should do to become a HeartSafe

Points (called HEARTBEATS) are given to a community for each activity that furthers the goal of saving lives from cardiac arrest. Examples of activities include CPR/AED classes, placement of AEDs in public places, promoting CPR/AED response through public safety officials, and developing a process to evaluate your HeartSafe program. The number of points required depends on the population of the city or town.

Towns begin the process of becoming HeartSafe Communities by completing an application package. Once designation is established, the community is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of HeartSafe status. Every three years from the date of designation, a new application must be sent in and reviewed for continued HeartSafe Community status.

HeartSafe Communities

The following towns have been designated as Rhode Island HeartSafe Communities and received program signs and decals to proudly display in their communities:

  • Cumberland: December 2013
  • Barrington: September 2013
  • Coventry: April 2013
  • East Providence: April 2012
  • South Kingstown: October 2010
  • Warwick: January 2010
  • Westerly: January 2010, renewed April 2013
  • Portsmouth: February 2014