Mission Lifeline winners

From left to right, Assistant Chief Travis Smith, firefighter Phillip Ball, Capt. Andy Moldenhauer, Chief David Gates and paramedic Jared Malone stand with the five Mission: Lifeline awards the Pocatello Fire Department and Bannock County Ambulance have earned from the American Heart Association over the past five years.

POCATELLO — For half a decade, the Pocatello Fire Department and Bannock County Ambulance have been leaders when it comes to cardiac care.

For the second year, the department and district received the Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Award from the American Heart Association for their quality of care for heart attack patients. The past four years, Pocatello Fire Department and Bannock County Ambulance received Gold recognition.

“I am very proud of the members of the Pocatello Fire Department and the Bannock County Ambulance District for their dedication and professionalism as well as for the pursuit of excellence they continue to demonstrate,” said Pocatello Fire Department Chief David Gates. “The standards necessary to achieve the award are rigorous. They have achieved those standards for five straight years, which makes this extra special.”

According to the American Heart Association, every year more than 250,000 people experience an ST-elevation myocardial infarction, the deadliest 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.

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D., chairman of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “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 the Pocatello Fire Department and Bannock County Ambulance for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

The Mission: Lifeline initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

For more information on the Pocatello Fire Department, visit pocatello.us/fire.