Butler County fire departments honored for keeping heart patients alive

The city of Fairfield Fire Department received its first Mission: Lifeline EMS honor on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

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The city of Fairfield Fire Department received its first Mission: Lifeline EMS honor on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

BUTLER COUNTY — Several fire departments around the county received honors this week from the American Heart Association for their emergency care with cardiac patients.

The cities of Monroe and Middletown earned the Gold Plus award and West Chester Twp. earned the Gold award in the AHA’s Mission: Lifeline EMS recognition program. Gold awards are only attained if Silver or Gold awards were issued in the previous year, according to the AHA.

This year was the first time Fairfield applied for AHA’s Mission: Lifeline EMS recognition program, said Deputy Chief Tom Wagner. It earned an EMS-Silver Plus Achievement Award.

The recognition program showcases EMS agencies for a certain cardiac emergency, ST Elevation/Myocardial Infarction (STEMI). Paramedics are the first providers of care to many cardiac patients, and the role of an EMS department often sets the course for a patient’s outcome, he said.

“The city of Fairfield Fire Department is constantly looking to improve upon the emergency medical services we provide to our community,” Wagner said.

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Last year, the Fairfield Fire Department purchased two LUCAS Chest Compression System devices that perform “clinically correct” chest compressions. They are stored in the city’s two advanced life support units. Physicians say the more that blood can flow during a cardiac event, the better the outcome.

This year’s honor is Monroe’s fourth consecutive honor, said fire Chief John Centers, adding the honor recognizes the department’s “dedicated staff and achievements in emergency medical care.”

This is the sixth straight cardiac care award for West Chester Twp.’s fire department.

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“Our team isn’t motivated by the fanfare and recognition, but receiving the Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold award from a top-notch organization like the American Heart Association is a testament to the women and men who put on the uniform every day,” said West Chester EMS Capt. Jason Hartley.

The Mission: Lifeline EMS recognition program is launched in 2014 and celebrates pre-hospital providers and their collaboration with other EMS agencies and area hospitals related to STEMI patient care.

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Dr. Tim Henry, chair 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.”

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