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County Emergency Medical Services Accepts American Heart Association’s Lifeline EMS Gold Award

In honor of National EMS Week, May 17-23, the Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services Agency would like to recognize our first responders: 9-1-1 dispatch centers, fire departments, ambulance companies, law enforcement, emergency departments, trauma centers and all other providers who work 24/7 to deliver vital and timely access to appropriate treatment for the people of our community.

In validation of Santa Barbara County’s commitment to excellence, the EMS Agency 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.

Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes those emergency responders for their efforts in improving STEMI systems of care (STEMI heart attacks are the deadliest) and improving the quality of life for these patients. Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Gold Award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for two years and treated at least eight STEMI patients for each year. Achieving this award shows that the county meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have 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. 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.

“The Santa Barbara County EMS Agency would like to thank our EMS providers for helping us achieve recognition among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving STEMI systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all cardiac patients,” says John Eaglesham, Santa Barbara EMS director. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical services.”

— Susan Klein-Rothschild is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

 

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