The Vilonia Fire Department firefighters recently went through heart screenings at Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway.

Fire Chief KC Williams had heard about emergency agencies in North Little Rock having the screenings and inquired about getting assessments at the Conway location.

“It seemed like a really good program,” Williams said. “All of our firefighters with the exception of just a few are volunteers. We thought it would be a real good opportunity to give something back to everybody who is donating their time and sometimes risking their lives for the community.”

He said some of the firefighters were skeptical of the idea in the beginning.

“Right at first I think people were like: ‘You want us to do what?’ When we explained to them all the tests they were running and how critical that was, pretty much everybody was enthusiastic to go and get it done,” Williams said.

Of the 30 firefighters in the department, 27 of opted to have the assessment done.

Williams said one of the best parts of getting the screening was finding out the test results the same day.

“That’s the real beauty of it – there’s no waiting,” he said, adding that the service was excellent. “They were efficient, they were fast, they were friendly. I couldn’t compliment that program enough. Every single person that I’ve talked to that did it was glad they did it.”

Williams said the assessments were “a potential lifesaver” for some of his firefighters because it revealed medical issues to them.

“For those who found out something they needed to know, it was invaluable,” he said, adding that the screenings were a value to the entire department. “We got what would ordinarily be days and thousands of dollars’ worth of testing done in a couple of hours for $99.”

He said the process was seamless.

“It was super easy. They had time blocked for us. We were in and out within two hours,” he said.