(RICHLAND PIO) — For the third consecutive year, the American Heart Association commended Richland County’s emergency responders for the life-saving care they provide to heart attack patients.
The American Heart Association (AHA) presented Richland County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with a Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award for the outstanding care of patients who suffer an ST Elevation Myorcardial Infarction, or STEMI – a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart.
Richland County EMS staff receive specific training and use specialized tools to determine if a patient is suffering from a STEMI. By quickly identifying a STEMI, EMS crews can restore blood flow as immediately as possible and provide appropriate care through the duration of transport to a treatment facility.
“Our STEMI program ensures our patients are provided with the best care available, thus improving the outcome for those who suffer a heart attack,” said Michael Byrd, director of Richland County Emergency Services Department. “It’s an honor for our paramedics and EMTs to be recognized for their outstanding efforts.”
Richland County EMS, which is a division of the Emergency Services Department, received the Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award for having at least a 75 percent adherence to the AHA’s quality measures for treating STEMI patients and for maintaining that status for 24 months. Richland County received the same award last year, and received its first Mission: Lifeline award — a silver award, for meeting the program’s quality measures for 12 months— in 2015.
“I’m extremely proud of our hardworking men and women in EMS for earning this national recognition, but not nearly as proud as I am for the lives they help save every day,” said Richland County Council Chair Joyce Dickerson. “They truly are heroes.”
The AHA states that receiving a Mission: Lifeline award indicates an organization’s efforts to provide the best pre-hospital care possible to its residents and visitors.