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Huntsville Emergency Medical Services Inc. or HEMSI has received the "Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Award" from the American Heart Association. CONTRIBUTED

HEMSI receives American Heart Association award

MADISON COUNTY – Madison County’s not-for-profit ambulance service provider has claimed an award from the American Heart Association.

Huntsville Emergency Medical Services Inc. or HEMSI has received the “Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Award” from the heart association. This year is HEMSI’s fourth consecutive year to earn the honor.

HEMSI received the awards at increasing levels of achievement 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 or STEMI, the deadliest type of heart attack. The cause is a blockage of blood flow to the heart, and the condition requires timely treatment.

To prevent death, restoring blood flow as quickly as possible is critical — 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 from the current, evidence-based treatment guidelines. The program recognizes emergency medical services for improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, then notifying the medical center promptly and triggering an early response from awaiting hospital personnel.

“HEMSI is dedicated to providing optimal care for heart attack patients,” HEMSI CEO Jon Howell said. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care efforts through Mission: Lifeline.”

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

HEMSI is Madison County’s 501(c)3 not-for-profit ambulance service provider that offers world-class service and the highest standards of care, according to the website hemsi.org.

The Mission: Lifeline program mobilizes teams to implement the clinical treatment guidelines from American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology. For more information, visit heart.org.

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