Ark. Firefighters, Paramedics Stay Up-to-date in STEMI Course

Ark. Firefighters, Paramedics Stay Up-to-date in STEMI Course

News Jun 13, 2017

Paramedics and EMTS of the El Dorado Fire Department are taking a class called the STEMI Course to keep up with developments in treatment for elevation myocardial infarction.

Chris Eckhoff, EMT and firefighter for the department, describes STEMI as "Lay terms of finding a heart attack off of a monitor."

Students enrolled in the course are learning strategies that will help them both retrieve information on the patient's status and transport them to hospitals more quickly. 

Eckhoff says, "It goes into depth on some different types of lead set-ups for monitors, and to tell different angles and postures of looking at the heart and taking pictures of it."

Three of the four stations belonging to the El Dorado Fire Department work alongside paramedic units. Paramedics say it's important to acquire the most up-to-date equipment for treating heart problems, because calls for chest pain and heart attacks are very common.

Eckhoff says that time spent in the classroom pays off when you're under high pressure on a call, as the course has helped him better read and analyze a cardiac monitor.

The EMTs and paramedics of the fire department say patients have better chances of survival the quicker they are transported to the hospital. 

"Time is muscle, so the American Heart Association is really pushing that when we get patients that are experiencing chest pain and heart attack to the hospital as quickly as possible so they can get definitive care," says Captain Seth Rainwater.

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