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Richmond Ambulance Authority Receives Second Consecutive Mission: Lifeline Gold Award for Rapid Treatment of Heart Attacks

Richmond, Va. June 9, 2017—RAA has received an American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline Gold Award for the second year in a row for its excellence in rapidly treating heart attack patients and improving patient outcomes. 

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI, or ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart requiring timely treatment. To prevent death, restoration of blood flow as quickly as possible is critical. This is accomplished either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

The role of EMS in the system-of-care for these patients is crucial and often sets the course for the patient's outcome. Since EMTs and paramedics are often the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of life-saving treatment time by calling a STEMI Alert to the participating hospital, thus triggering an early response from the hospital’s STEMI Center. Mission: Lifeline strives to equip first responders with the most up-to-date evidence-based treatment guidelines to help improve quality of care for patients and to improve systems of care and patient outcomes in communities across the U.S.

RAA had to achieve a number of measures outlined by the American Heart Association to achieve gold award level status. This includes ensuring a minimum of 75% of its STEMI patients arrived at the hospital and received definitive treatment within 90 minutes of the 9-1-1 call for service during a 24-month period.

“Richmond Ambulance Authority is dedicated to providing the best care possible for STEMI patients, and we are honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our efforts to help achieve better patient outcomes,” said Wayne Harbour, chief clinical officer for the Richmond Ambulance Authority. 

About the Richmond Ambulance Authority
In 1991, the Richmond City Council and the city manager implemented an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system that placed the patient first and guaranteed its performance to the City's residents. Today, the Richmond Ambulance Authority responds to approximately 200 calls per day and transports, on average, 140 patients per day. RAA’s emergency response times are among the fastest in the nation with ambulances on the scene of life threatening emergencies in less than 8 minutes and 59 seconds in more than 90% of all responses. RAA is one of only 24 EMS agencies in North America accredited by both the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services and the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch. RAA is also a Commonwealth of Virginia Accredited Dispatch Center. RAA is also the current National EMS Agency of the Year and is holder of the Dick Ferno award as nominated by the National Academy of EMTs and EMS World Magazine. For more information, see                          

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