Salisbury Fire Department Receives American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Plus Recognition Award

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Salisbury- The City of Salisbury is pleased to announce that the Salisbury Fire Department has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Silver Plus Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack, which is 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.

Proper pre-hospital care is critical when treating a patient suffering from a cardiac emergency and often sets the course for that patient’s outcome. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes 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.

The Salisbury Fire Department staffs three transport ambulances with an emergency medical technician (EMT) and a paramedic on board, or two paramedics. In 2019, SFD clinicians responded to almost 300 patients experiencing chest discomfort and of those patients, thirty-six were experiencing a “STEMI.” These patients were treated per Maryland Protocol, with 94% having a 12-lead ECG (electrocardiogram), which is a representation of the heart’s electrical activity, transmitted to Peninsula Regional Medical Center while en route. This ensures that the patient’s care is not delayed and a smooth transfer of care from EMS to PRMC occurs upon arrival at the emergency room.

“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of our clinicians and their continued efforts to provide competent and compassionate pre-hospital care to our community” shared Chris Truitt, Salisbury Fire Department’s EMS Captain.

“Since they often are the first medical point of contact, [EMTs and paramedics] can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient,” shared Tim Henry, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “We applaud the Salisbury Fire Department for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

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