Second 'Heart Month' open house is Saturday

During the month of February, the City of Rentonand the Renton Fire Department will be conducting its annual “Heart Month”community outreach program at various locations throughout the city.

The public is invited to attend a fire stationopen house event to have their blood pressure and blood sugar checked. Thesecond event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow, Feb. 15 at FireStation 12, 1209 Kirkland Avenue NE.

This year, the city is partnering with ValleyMedical Center, Renton School District, Kind Bars and Starbucks to provide freepreventative blood pressure and blood sugar screenings to the public. RentonFirefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians will perform the screenings atschools, businesses and community groups throughout the greater Renton area.

"I encourage residents to help reduce therisks of heart disease by taking advantage of the free screenings that arebeing made available as part of our month-long promotion," said Chief MarkPeterson in a press release. "The screenings only take a couple of minutes,but those minutes could save your life or the life of a loved one."

Cardiovascular disease is still the leading causeof death in the United States and strokes remain the leading cause ofdisability. Early detection can lead to early intervention and improved qualityof life.

In eight years, the Renton Fire and Emergency Services Department hasperformed more than 50,000 screenings during "Heart Month." Of those,more than 7,000 people were found to have high blood pressure orelevated-to-dangerous blood sugar levels. People who were at risk wereencouraged to see their doctor in order to address the risk and help preventfuture medical complications.