Lebanon fire receives award for COMP-NW partnership

The Lebanon Fire District received the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) Outstanding Special District Program Award in the 26+ employees category for the WesternU Lebanon Emergency Alliance (WLEA) and Fire Corps programs. The award recognizes special districts for innovative projects and programs, outstanding safety, public information, public involvement in a district decision-making process, and outstanding achievement

WLEA is a program that allows medical students at COMP-NW to volunteer as firefighters and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers for the LFD. The goal is to put osteopathic ideals into action in the community through emergency response, community risk reduction and emergency preparedness.

WLEA is the only known program of its kind in the country where medical students volunteer with the fire district to gain experience and, in turn, give back to the community, according to a news release published by SDAO. The Fire Corps programs is one of a few programs in the state that trains LFD support volunteers in emotional practical support while also providing benefits to the Lebanon community.

“WLEA is one of our signature programs and allows medical students to see, talk to, care for, and help patients out in the real world,” said COMP-Northwest Assistant Professor of Population Health Jeannie Davis, EdD. “Working with Lebanon Fire District, students have the opportunity to interact with members of multiple hospital systems, gain relevant knowledge, and make a significant impact in their community.”

COMP-NW student Adam Hall said some of the students are learning about fire and emergency services for the first time while others may have prior experience.

“Either way, it’s a great way to get to know people in the community while helping our neighbors and practicing our medical skills,” Hall said. “This year, students have also been helping the fire district to develop a fitness assessment program for volunteers and career firefighters. Personal health and fitness are a big part of keeping everyone safe in an emergency and we are proud to be helping our fellow firefighters improve their wellness.”

LFD received the award during the 2022 SDAO Annual Conference Awards Ceremony held virtually on Feb. 12.