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County EMS awarded for second year

Agency received EMS Gold Plus Recognition

For the second straight year, Lawrence County EMS was the recipient of the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

The agency is one of just eight in Ohio and 163 out of 21,283 in the nation to receive the Gold Plus Honor, putting it in the top less than one percent of EMS agencies in the U.S.

“Lawrence County EMS is dedicated to providing optimal care for heart attack patients,” Jeff Gaskin, Lawrence County EMS resource and facilities administrator, said. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care efforts through Mission: Lifeline.”

More than 250,000 people experience an ST evaluation myocardial infraction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart, which requires timely treatment. In order to prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either through mechanically opening the blocked vessel or through blood clot medication.

Tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines are provided through the Mission: Lifeline initiative. 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.

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” Tim Henry, M.D. and Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee, said. “Since they are often 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 Lawrence County EMS for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

Lawrence County EMS serves the county’s 62,000 residents and other visitors from five stations with six full-time ambulances, staffed with paramedics. The agency runs approximately 12,000 calls annually, which are growing each year.

“This really puts our people in a good light,” Gaskin said. “And it says a lot about what our EMS personnel are doing that we are at the top of cardiac care.”