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Alexandria Fire Department receives AHA MIssion: Lifeline EMS Award

The Alexandria Fire Department has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Silver Award, which recognizes the department’s commitment and success in implementing specific quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who suffer a severe heart attack known as a STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction).

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans experience a STEMI, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart. During a STEMI, restoring blood flow as quickly as possible is critical.

Unfortunately, a significant number don't receive prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline’s new EMS recognition program recognizes those emergency responders for their efforts in improving STEMI systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.

The Alexandria Fire Department received the Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Award by demonstrating at least 75 percent compliance for each required performance measure during 2013. Alexandria Fire Department’s highly-trained advanced life support medics perform and interpret 12-lead ECGs in the field. The medics can then notify the hospital of the STEMI prior to their arrival, allowing the cardiac catheterization team at Inova Alexandria Hospital time to assemble and prepare; the medics can also transmit the ECG to the hospital wirelessly from the patient’s side. This collaboration between Alexandria Fire Department and Inova Alexandria Hospital has led to this recognition and, more importantly, the best possible outcomes for residents and visitors of Alexandria suffering from heart attacks.

“We commend the Alexandria Fire Department for this achievement award, which reflects a significant commitment to improve the quality of care for heart attack patients,” said A. Gray Ellrodt, MD, Chair of the Mission: Lifeline committee and Chief of Medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. “All too many heart attack patients in the United States still fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening condition within the recommended timeframes. We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications.”

To learn more about Mission: Lifeline, visit heart.org/missionlifeline and heart.org/quality.

For more information, contact Michael Gerber, EMS Supervisor and Public Information Officer, Alexandria Fire Department, at 703.746.5217 or michael.gerber@alexandriava.gov.

Source: City of Alexandria