NY Agency Recognized by Mayor Spano and AHA

In a City Hall ceremony, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano recognized Empress Ambulance for its achievement as one of only two emergency medical providers in the entire state designated by the American Heart Association as a leader in successfully responding to among the most serious type of heart attacks.

Spano also noted that Empress, in a recent EMS week awards ceremony, was designated as EMS Agency of the Year for 2013 by the Westchester EMS Council, and also had staff awarded, Paramedic, EMT and Dispatcher  of the year for 2013. In Addition, Empress Paramedic Lt. Michael Blecker has been designated New York State Paramedic of the Year.

“Sometimes people take it for granted that when they call for an ambulance they’ll get the best possible service,” said Spano, “They shouldn’t, because here in Yonkers they get a level of service that is measurably better than almost any other provider in the State of New York. We want to recognize Empress for giving the residence of Yonkers that unparalleled level of service, because it pays off in lives saved.”

“When the American Heart Association says that our ambulance service is one of only two in the entire state that is leading the pack in treating the worst heart attacks with the latest technology, that’s something to celebrate,” said Spano.

Empress has served Yonkers since 1985 and it receives no funding from the City.

Empress received the AHA’s “Silver Mission: Lifeline” award due to its ability to treat patients suffering from “STEMI” heart attacks in which all blood flow to the heart is blocked. Empress utilizes advanced 12-lead  EKG machines that immediately provide emergency room physicians with all the data they need, thus saving precious minutes in delivering the patient to a Heart Center. 

“The bottom line is that we can provide the right treatment beginning immediately at the scene, and that treatment continues without delay when we arrive at the Heart Centers,” said Empress President Mike Minerva. “Every second counts in treating a heart attack, and we use the latest technology to ensure that the patient is delivered to the appropriate place at the right time, truly making a difference in Life or Death”

Besides the American Heart Association Award, the designation as EMS Agency of the Year, and having the State Paramedic of the Year, Empress received a total of 68 awards in 2014 from the Westchester Regional EMS Council, setting a record for any EMS agency. Sixty four of those awards were for successful resuscitation of cardiac arrest victims. “Thirty two of those who were saved are alive today thanks to medical care provided ONLY BY EMPRESS, not by any other EMS providers,” said Minerva.

“We wish Empress all the best as they continue to make our lives better, and in many cases save them,” Spano concluded.

Empress EMS has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Silver Award that recognizes its commitment and success in implementing specific emergency care guidelines and quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who suffer a severe heart attack known as a STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction). Empress is one of only 2 agencies in New York State to receive this award and the only agency between Albany and NYC.

“We commend Empress EMS for this achievement award, which reflects a significant commitment to improve the quality of care for heart attack patients,” said A. Gray Ellrodt, MD, Chair of the Mission: Lifeline committee and Chief of Medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. “All too many heart attack patients in the United States still fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening condition within the recommended timeframes. We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications.”

Every year, almost 300,000 people experience a STEMI, a type of heart attack caused by a complete 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 surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

Unfortunately, a significant number don't receive prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline’s new EMS recognition program recognizes those EMS agencies for their efforts in improving STEMI systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.

Emergency Medical System providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline. EMS agencies provide education in STEMI identification and access to advanced 12-lead ECG monitors and follow critical medical protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. The correct tools and training allow EMS providers to rapidly identify the STEMI, promptly notify the medical center and trigger and early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Silver award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for the entire year, and treat at least eight STEMI patients for the year.

“Empress is dedicated to making our agency among the best in the country, and the clear leader in Westchester County. The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving STEMI systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care and ultimately survival, for all STEMI patients,” said Cohen. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for STEMI patients.”

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