(Lawrenceville, Ga., June 9, 2017) – For the second year in a row, the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services has been awarded the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Award.  The recognition is bestowed on the department for its continued quality improvement for the treatment of severe heart attack patients.  The award is based on actual performance measures of the care provided by EMT’s and paramedics in the field in conjunction with local hospital facilities.

Pre-hospital Emergency Medical Service providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline.  EMS agencies perform 12-lead ECGs, which measure the electrical activity of the heart and can help determine if a heart attack has occurred.  They also follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines.  These correct tools,  training, and practices allow EMS providers in the field to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from surgical teams and hospital personnel.

According to the organization’s Advisory Working group, EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those having a heart attack.  Since EMS is often the first medical point of contact, they can shave precious minutes of life-saving treatment time by activating the emergency response system and alerting hospitals. 

“The department is dedicated to its mission of saving lives and protecting property, and the American Heart Association is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes with the goal of improving the quality of care for all acute coronary- syndrome patients,” said Fire Chief Casey Snyder.  “We are pleased to be recognized for our achievements in emergency care for cardiac patients,” Snyder added.  In 2016, there were 1,813 patients age 35-years and older with non-traumatic chest pain that received a pre-hospital 12-Lead ECG.

About Mission: Lifeline

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® program helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for acute coronary syndrome patients.  The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology clinical treatment guidelines.  For more information, visit

About Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services:

Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services provides fire protection and emergency medical services for a population of over 940,000 people with a force of 916 superbly trained men and women who are proactive and citizen-oriented.  Responding to more than 78,000 calls annually, GCFES operates 31 strategically placed fire stations that include 31 engine companies, 11 ladder trucks, and 29 advanced life-support medical units.  In addition to providing basic fire and emergency services, trained teams are in place for technical rescue, hazardous materials, and swiftwater rescue situations. The department’s own Fire Academy provides training that extends beyond state requirements, and all firefighters receive further emergency medical training throughout their career. All emergency response vehicles are staffed with EMTs and paramedics and carry essential medical equipment for advanced life support.  The department strongly supports efforts to prepare citizens for fires, medical emergencies and natural disasters through robust community risk reduction programs and services.

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