Pictured (from left) are Iredell County EMS personnel Heather Adams, Lyndon Walker, Jason Little, Cory Arrington, Brian Emory, Chris Martin, Stephen Snow, Joy Mays, Blair Richey and Andrew Cardwell.

Special to Iredell Free News

Iredell County EMS has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold 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), which is the deadliest type of heart attack 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.

The Mission: Lifeline initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines. 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.

“Iredell County EMS is dedicated to providing optimal care for heart attack patients,” said EMS Director Blair Richey. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care efforts through Mission: Lifeline.”

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Dr. Tim Henry, chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient. We applaud Iredell EMS for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

Iredell EMS receives this award as part of a large team of first responder agencies, including Central School VFD, Cool Springs VFD, County Line VFD, Ebenezer VFD, Harmony VFD, Iredell County Rescue Squad, Lake Norman VFD, Lone Hickory VFD, Monticello VFD, Mooresville Fire & Rescue, Mount Mourne VFD, North Iredell Rescue Squad, Sheffield-Callahan VFD, Shepherds VFD, South Iredell VFD, Statesville Fire Department, Stony Point VFD, Trinity VFD, Troutman Fire & Rescue, Union Grove VFD, Wayside VFD, West Iredell VFD, and Wilkes-Iredell VFD. These Responders are often the first to arrive on scene and provide life-saving care in an emergency.

About Mission: Lifeline

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program helps hospitals and emergency
medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for acute coronary syndrome patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit heart.org.

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