County EMS Receives Award from American Heart Association

Source: Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

In a validation of its commitment to clinical excellence, the Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency has received the 2022 American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award for exceeding quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. The Gold Plus Award is the highest-level recognition award granted by the American Heart Association. The team award recognizes the success of the EMS System’s pre-hospital providers, including American Medical Response, Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Santa Maria Fire Department, Santa Barbara Fire Department, Lompoc Fire Department, Guadalupe Fire Department, Montecito Fire Protection District, and Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District and CALSTAR.

Every year in the U.S., more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI, or ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication. The correct tools and training allow EMS providers to rapidly identify the STEMI, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

“This award embodies the EMS Agency’s values of community access and education, provider safety and support, and clinical excellence,” shared EMS Agency Director Nick Clay. “Through the focused leadership of Dr. Shepherd and the EMS Agency staff, the EMS System providers have again demonstrated the merits of a coordinated healthcare network.”

Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program honors emergency responders for their efforts in improving STEMI systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients. Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus Award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for two years. Achieving this award shows that the county meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.

Since the inception of this award seven years ago, the Santa Barbara County EMS System has received the highest awards. The Santa Barbara County EMS Agency would like to recognize our first responders including 9-1-1 dispatch centers, fire departments, ambulance companies, law enforcement, emergency departments, STEMI Receiving Centers, STEMI Referral Hospitals, and all other providers who work 24/7 to deliver vital and timely access to appropriate treatment for the people of our community.


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