For the fourth consecutive year, Richland County’s emergency responders are being recognized nationally for the life-saving care they provide to heart attack patients.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recently presented Richland County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with a Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award for the outstanding care of patients who suffer an ST Elevation Myorcardial Infarction, or STEMI – a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart.
Richland County EMS staff receive specific training and use specialized tools to determine if a patient is suffering from a STEMI. By quickly identifying a STEMI, EMS crews can restore blood flow as immediately as possible and provide appropriate care during transport to a treatment facility.
“It’s admirable that the employees of Richland County EMS continue to be recognized for this achievement,” said Michael Byrd, Director of the Richland County Emergency Services Department. “By meeting the gold standards of the American Heart Association, patients in Richland County know they are receiving the best care possible during life-threatening heart events.”
Richland County EMS, which is a division of the Emergency Services Department, received the gold award the previous two years and received its first Mission: Lifeline award — a silver award — in 2015. The AHA states that receiving a Mission: Lifeline award indicates an organization’s efforts to provide the best pre-hospital care possible to patients.
“I’m incredibly proud of the hardworking men and women of our EMS division and their unwavering dedication to public safety,” said Richland County Council Chair Joyce Dickerson. “It takes a special person to do their job. They are true heroes and absolutely deserve this recognition.”
The County’s EMS division is one of the busiest, if not the busiest, EMS units in the state, responding to more than 74,000 calls each year.