(Above, some of the award recipients from OnStar)
Yesterday, OnStar celebrated its 20th anniversary by giving $20,000 each to 20 public safety personnel who experienced serious physical injury or hardship that impacted their ability to perform their jobs.
OnStar identified the 20 recipients by working with the International Association of Chiefs of Police Foundation (IACPF), Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) – Sunshine Fund, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT).
“Each day OnStar receives more than 245,000 calls from drivers in need of some support, so we understand the importance of a human connection, especially in an emergency situation,” said Christine Sitek, OnStar chief operating officer for General Motors’ Global Connected Customer Experience team. “The first responder community plays a vital role in working with OnStar advisors to quickly deliver emergency services to our drivers and passengers in need. We couldn’t have become a leader in safety and security without their support.”
One of the selected first responders, Andy Allison, was a firefighter at the Lewisville Fire Department in Lewisville, Texas, when he sustained career-altering injuries while responding to a structure fire. Since his injury, Allison has dedicated his life to helping others manage occupational medicine and advocating for others suffering debilitating injuries in the line of duty. He has been speaking around the country on how to prepare for worst-case scenarios and manage life after a debilitating injury.
“My goal is to help other firefighters prepare for if, or when, they get hurt,” said Allison. “In this career, you need to know what can be done proactively to protect yourself and your family, both physically and financially, and I want to help others be equipped to manage whatever comes their way.”
“Thanks to public safety responders across the nation, OnStar is able to provide a life-saving connection that is needed every hour, every day for the past 20 years,” said Cathy Bishop, OnStar Global Emergency Services senior manager. “This donation demonstrates our great appreciation for all first responders, especially those who suffer serious injury and financial hardship in the name of public service.”
20 Years of Innovating Connected Emergency Services When GM debuted OnStar in 1996, it was the first in-vehicle technology in the industry to automatically connect to a live person when the vehicle’s airbags deployed. That advisor would work with first responders to provide assistance.
Along with industry-leading technology, OnStar’s emergency advisors receive innovative training, allowing them to be prepared for all situations, from vehicle crashes to mothers giving birth to natural disasters. OnStar has implemented Emergency Medical Dispatch with its advisors, which uses set protocols to assess the situation and provide pre-arrival information to first responders. Together, OnStar’s technology and advisors give first responders the information they need before arriving on the scene.
For the full list of recipients, go HERE.