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Danbury EMS Earns American Heart Association's Gold Award

Matthew Cassavechia, director of Danbury's EMS, said the organization is proud to receive the gold award for the second year in a row.
Matthew Cassavechia, director of Danbury's EMS, said the organization is proud to receive the gold award for the second year in a row. Photo Credit: danbury.ct.us

DANBURY, Conn. -- For the second year in a row, Danbury Emergency Medical Services has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award for providing quality treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction, the most deadly 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.

Emergency medical system providers are vital to saving lives by performing 12-lead ECGs which measure the electrical activity of the heart and can help determine if a heart attack has occurred. By using these methods, EMS providers can rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

“All aspects of the city of Danbury EMS system, including fire department first responders, EMTs and paramedics are dedicated to making our service among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all acute coronary syndrome patients,” said Matthew Cassavechia, director, Danbury Emergency Medical Services. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care.”

Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Gold award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for two years.

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said James Jollis, M.D., chair of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can shave precious minutes of life-saving treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals. We applaud Danbury Emergency Medical Services for achieving this award that shows it meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

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