BURGAW – Pender County EMS and Fire received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

“This is the second year Pender EMS and Fire has received the highest award for Mission: Lifeline,” said Woodrow Sullivan, Pender EMS and Fire Chief.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart. This 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.

“We focus on the training requirement to determine early recognition and transport to the proper facility,” said David Dudding, Pender EMS and Fire’s training battalion chief. “A patient experiencing this type of episode has a 90-minute window to receive the proper treatment. We train with the knowledge that time is of the essence.”

The Mission: Lifeline EMS recognition program honors emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

Pender EMS and Fire provides optimal care for heart attack patients,” said Sullivan. “We are pleased to be recognized – for the second year – for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care efforts through Mission: Lifeline.”

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D. chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome subcommittee. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient. We applaud Pender EMS and Fire for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

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