Dr. Mary Cushman, President of Vermont Chapter of the American Heart Association presents the Mission Lifeline Bronze EMS Agency award to South Burlington Fire Department for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association. SBFD is the only award recipient in Vermont and the first recipient in Northern New England.


SBFD Receives Mission: Lifeline Award

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Thursday May 22, 2014

As South Burlington residents already know, our community boasts one of the top fire departments in the state. Consistent staff training, including paramedic courses and water rescue scenarios contribute to their ability to respond to over 3000 yearly calls for service, efficiently and effectively. At the May 19 city council meeting the department was officially recognized for their success when they received the Mission Lifeline Bronze EMS Agency award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks. Dr. Mary Cushman, President of Vermont Chapter of the American Heart Association presented the award and noted that SBFD is the only provider in Vermont that met the criteria for this award and is also the first recipient in Northern New England!

Each year, approximately 250,000 people suffer a STEMI or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction which requires timely treatment and involves immediately restoring blood flow, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot busting medication. The Mission Lifeline award recognizes SBFD for providing timely access to the best treatments.  

“Your participation in Mission: Lifeline demonstrates your commitment to quality care.  The correct tools and training allow Emergency Medical System providers to rapidly identify the STEMI, promptly notify the destination hospital and trigger and early response from the waiting hospital personnel,” noted Cushman. “Your medics are driving improvements in the care and outcomes of STEMI patients.” 

The criteria to achieve the Mission: Lifeline EMS Bronze award is based on consistently meeting certain achievement measures for at least one and up to three calendar quarters with no single measure scoring below 75 percent. The individual measures involve collaboration between EMS and the hospital as follows: percentage of patients with non-traumatic chest pain over 35 years old treated and transported by EMS who receive a pre-hospital 12 lead ECG; percentage of STEMI patients transported to a STEMI receiving center with pre-hospital First Medical Contact to device under 90 minutes; and percentage of STEMI patients transported to a STEMI referring center with arrival to fibrinolytic therapy administration in less than 30 minutes. According to Fire Chief Doug Brent, the shortest time it has taken to get a patient from the field and into the cath lab has been 49 minutes and the longest has been 70 minutes. 

Chief Brent lauded his team as well as the partnership with Fletcher Allen Health Care, without which, he acknowledged they would not be so successful in getting patients the treatment they need. 

“The South Burlington Fire Department is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients who suffer a heart attack and the American Heart Association’s Mission Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that goal through internationally respected clinical guidelines,” Chief Brent said, “We are pleased to be recognized for our achievements in cardiac care and I am very proud of our team.” 

SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent