Flagler County Fire Rescue has distinguished itself when it comes to treating heart attack patients and has been awarded the American Heart Association “Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver” for 2023.
“Your agency is a part of an elite group of pre-hospital providers recognized by the American Heart Association for your commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care, by ensuring that every STEMI patient receives treatment according to nationally accepted evidence-based guideline recommendations and standards,” the American Heart Association said in an email to Lt. Jon Moscowitz.
A heart attack with a completely blocked coronary artery is called a STEMI. The acronym stands for ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction.
“With heart tracing there is a particular area that is called the ST segment. When this segment is elevated, the person is said to have a STEMI,” said Fire Rescue Chief Michael Tucker. “This indicates the flow of oxygen-rich blood is being cut off to a section of the heart.”
Fire Rescue paramedics can begin patient treatment upon arrival, which is invaluable and potentially lifesaving time.
“Patients can receive medical care up to an hour sooner that someone who is driven to the hospital by a friend or relative,” Moscowitz said. “Paramedics are also trained to provide resuscitation efforts to someone whose heart has stopped. Patients who arrive by ambulance may also receive faster treatment at the hospital, because of earlier notification to Emergency Room staff of suspected heart attack or stroke.”
Mission: Lifeline EMS is the American Heart Association’s national initiative to advance the system of care for patients with high-risk, time-sensitive disease states, such as severe heart attacks and strokes. The program helps reduce barriers to prompt treatment – starting from when 9-1-1 is called, to EMS transport, and continuing through hospital treatment to discharge.
The Mission: Lifeline EMS achievement award focuses on agencies’ on-scene care, bringing to the forefront the collaboration and contributions to patient care for prehospital providers.
“Flagler County Fire Rescue is honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication to providing optimal care for heart attack and stroke patients, and our crews’ dedication to excellence deserves this recognition,” Tucker said. “The Mission: Lifeline program puts proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis, so patients have the best possible chance of survival.”