For Immediate Release: May 23, 2016
The Alexandria Fire Department has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. This is the second consecutive year in which the Fire Department has been recognized with this award.
Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the most deadly type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.
Unfortunately, a significant number of STEMI patients do not receive this prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate these patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.
Emergency Medical System providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline. EMS agencies perform 12-lead ECGs, which measure the electrical activity of the heart and can help determine if a heart attack has occurred. They also follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. These correct tools, training, and practices allow EMS providers to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.
Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Gold award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for two years.
“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said James Jollis, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can shave precious minutes of life-saving treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals. We applaud the Alexandria Fire Department for achieving this award that shows it meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”
The Alexandria Fire Department is excited to be recognized as an EMS Gold recipient. The department is also proud to join the group of 25 agencies in the Commonwealth of Virginia that have received recognition from Mission: Lifeline on various levels, which included 10 other agencies recognized at the Gold Level.
For more information, contact Brian Hricik, EMS Battalion Chief, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.746.5245.
About Mission: Lifeline
The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for acute coronary syndrome patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit heart.org.