Fire department, hospital recognized for heart attack care

Mayor praises city’s EMS, says 30 heart attack patients saved in 2013

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published June 25, 2014

WARREN — Every second counts when you or someone you love is having a heart attack.

A representative with the American Heart Association said that’s why the Warren Fire Department, through its cooperative relationship with the St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital, was one of two agencies in the state recognized with the 2014 Mission: Lifeline EMS Recognition Silver Award based on last year’s statistics.

The hospital submitted the Warren Fire Department for award consideration based on its efforts to recognize, treat and respond to confirmed heart attack patients.

“The (EMS) rigs are equipped with the EKG in the field. They’re able to act right away and identify that it’s a STEMI situation, a very real heart attack,” said Beth Collins, corporate events director for the American Heart Association. “They’re able to communicate back with the hospital, let them know that this is coming, and they’re ready to go and able to take them right into the cath lab, if necessary.”

Terry Hamilton, president of St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital, said the collaborative effort with the Warren Fire Department allowed heart attack patients to be treated more quickly, which ultimately saved lives.

“Time is muscle. The faster you arrive at the hospital, the faster we can save the life,” Hamilton said. “That’s because the work, the 12-lead EKGs that are taken by the Fire Department, by the EMS in the field, allow the hospital to be faster when the patient arrives.”

Warren fire officials said the procedures followed by paramedics are a result of the city’s commitment to EMS transport through policy and equipment investments, allocation of funding, training of personnel and cooperation with hospital staff.

“For us, it was very simple. The Fire Department is a public service entity and we’re here to serve the citizens,” Warren Fire Commissioner Skip McAdams said. “The mayor had a vision. Council supported that vision. They backed it up with dollars. We made the investment, and the men and women of the Fire Department implemented that.

“The partnership that we’ve developed with St. John Macomb Hospital is a two-pronged approach. We have faith and trust in them, and they work with us. The training they provide, the true partnership that they provide and support us with is all part of the puzzle,” McAdams said.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said the city’s commitment to returning EMS transport and its collaboration with St. John Macomb-Oakland helped save 30 heart attack patients.

“For the first time in a long time, we have all six fire stations equipped with an EMS ambulance,” Fouts said. “Because of this great partnership with St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital, we were able to save their lives.”

Midland’s MidMichigan Medical Center was also recognized with the award this year.