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Idaho Falls Fire Department and EIRMC receive top awards from the American Heart Association

Health & Fitness

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IDAHO FALLS — Incredible response times, quality care, and high survival rates are what sets local emergency medical services and Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center apart from average facilities, officials said during a news conference Tuesday.

Because of their outstanding performance, the Idaho Falls Fire Department’s EMS and EIRMC were presented with the high achievements from the American Heart Association.

The Idaho Falls Fire Department’s EMS division received the Mission Lifeline Gold Plus Award for its swift response times. This marks the departments third year of recognition from the AHA after receiving the lifeline silver and gold awards.

“The crews that are out on the ambulances are delivering high-quality care that meets American Heart Association standards and guidelines, and what that means to the public is that they’re getting to the patients quickly, determining what the problem is and then getting those patients to definitive care at EIRMC as quickly as possible,” Idaho Falls Fire Department EMS Division Chief Eric Day says.

The mission lifeline initiative the department utilizes provides tools and training to support heart attack care from the most recent treatment guidelines provided by the AHA. Both EMS, hospitals and other supporting agencies are recognized through this award.

Day says emergency service starts with the call and knowledgeable and trained dispatchers. From there the survival of a patient depends on the systems put in place by EMS and other medical personnel.

“We work very closely with the hospital to make sure that they understand when we call that they can trust our decisions and they can trust that we’ve recognized a true cardiac emergency and those patients move quickly through the hospital system. They’re not held in the ER,” Day says.

EIRMC received three awards Tuesday afternoon for their stroke and ST-elevation infarction (STEMI) heart attack care including the 2019 Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Target Stroke Elite Plus Award, the 2019 Mission Lifeline Gold Receiving Award, and the 2019 Non-STEMI Silver Award.

“We’re working well with EMS getting patients here quickly so we can get them treated and get them back … to their lifestyle,” EIRMC’s cardiovascular programs coordinator Tammy Coffel says.

The AHA’s Regional Director for Quality and Systems Improvement Jessia Rosing reminded staff that “where you live should not determine if you live.” Rosing says hospitals are awarded based on consistent performance in various measures. These measurements are tracked through a web-based quality improvement tool.

“By participating in Get With The Guidelines, it’s a tool that the hospital can use to make sure that providers, front line staff, the whole team understand the guidelines, what’s best practice, how to treat the right patient at the right time and make sure that is happening consistently,” Rosing says.

Hosptial staff continues to say they couldn’t do what they do without EMS.

“We’re very proud of what we do here at EIRMC, and these awards just go to show that we work well with EMS and that we do the right things for the right patients and that we have good outcomes,” Coffel says.

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