This year, the Downers Grove Fire Department was recognized by the American Heart Association with its Mission: Lifeline EMS - Gold Achievement Award. This award measures and evaluates prehospital providers and their collaboration with local hospitals in the treatment of cardiac emergencies and strokes. The role of EMS providers (first responders) in the care of patients experiencing these types of events is crucial and often sets the course for the patient's outcome.
"The fact that we've received Gold Status for the second year in row is a clear indication that each and every member of our department understands how critical response time is, especially for cardiac patients," stated Fire Chief Jeffrey Pindelski.
In order to achieve Gold Status, the Downers Grove Fire Department had to provide statistics for patients served that were suffering from heart attacks and strokes. The American Heart Association states that patients having a heart attack should have a response time of 90-minutes or better from when responders arrive to when the patient receives definitive treatment at the hospital. The team must meet that benchmark 75% of the time for 24 consecutive months to qualify and maintain Gold Status.
EMS calls to the Fire Department continue to increase and although not all are cardiac related, it is noteworthy that last year, the department responded to 4,319 EMS calls out of 6,352 total calls.