Spokane County Fire District 8, which serves the area south of Spokane Valley, received the EMS Silver Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.
Every year, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI, or ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.
Unfortunately, a significant number do not receive this prompt treatment. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency responders for their efforts in improving STEMI 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 provide access to 12-lead ECG machines (devices that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat and can help medical personnel determine if a heart attack has occurred), and follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. The correct tools and training allow EMS providers to rapidly identify the STEMI, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.
Spokane County Fire District 8 and American Medical Response were part of a team led by the Spokane Valley Fire Department to become one of only six EMS agencies that received the Mission: Lifeline Silver award in Washington State this year. The Mission: Lifeline Silver award is presented to EMS organizations that have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for the entire year, and treat at least eight STEMI patients for the year.
“Fire District 8 EMT’s and paramedics are passionate about providing the best possible emergency medical care to our South Spokane County residents, said Fire Chief Tony Nielsen. “It’s gratifying to be recognized along with our regional EMS partners for our dedication and achievements in outstanding cardiac care.”