The City of Victoria’s Fire Department has earned the American Heart Association’s 2020 Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus recognition for its efforts to improve care for patients suffering from an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), a serious type of heart attack.
The Victoria Fire Department consistently has received the highest possible rating since it began applying for the award in 2014.
“I am extremely proud of the men and women of the Victoria Fire Department for once again receiving this honor and recognition,” Fire Department Chief Tracy Fox said. “This recognition is a great example of the department’s commitment to providing the highest standard of care possible. We know the award would not be possible without our outstanding medical director, Dr. John McNeill, and our local partners in care, Citizens Medical Center and the DeTar Healthcare System.”
To earn the recognition, the fire department must show at least 75% compliance with the following standards: providing an electrocardiogram to patients at least 35 years old with heart attack symptoms; of those cases, providing the EKG within 10 minutes; notifying hospitals of a STEMI patient within 10 minutes; and promptly transporting the patient for care within specific time thresholds depending on the situation.
In order to meet the American Heart Association’s standards of care, Victoria Fire Department EMS personnel regularly undergo rigorous training both internally and in coordination with area hospitals.
“The hospitals also follow American Heart Association guidelines, so we’re able to work with them and ensure continuity of high-quality care,” said EMS Battalion Chief Tim Hunter. “We train together, share data, meet regularly to discuss areas for improvement and collaborate on new programs.”
To learn more about the City’s fire department, visit www.victoriatx.org.