CENTREVILLE — Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award for a third year in a row.

The county’s Emergency Services have been recognized for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. The local EMS is the sole recipient of the distinction on the Eastern Shore.

“Queen Anne’s County does not have a hospital, but is within proximity of the best medical facilities in the world. Therefore, over the last years, the county has recognized and succeeded in creating the best EMS transportation system in the state, if not the country. We are pleased that these efforts are now both achieved and recognized. It is important for the public to know that here in Queen Anne’s County, we have attempted to create the best emergency transport that can be attained. We are proud of it and not surprised at the recognition it receives at the highest level,” said County Commissioner Steve Wilson.

“The importance of this award cannot be overstated. Lack of access to world class emergency services has a disproportionate impact on lower income citizens. But here, through diligence, Queen Anne’s County has built a system that ensures that quality and equitable emergency health services are available to benefit all citizens,“ County Commissioner Chris Corchiarino said.

“Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services is dedicated to providing optimal care for heart attack patients,” said Scott Wheatley, assistant chief of Emergency Services. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care efforts through Mission: Lifeline.”

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), 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.

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.

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