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Department Recognized by the State as Outstanding EMS Program of the Year Cardiac Pre-Alert Program is a National Model

Columbia, MD – In recognition of National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week Sunday, May 19th through Saturday May 25th, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) recognized the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) as the 2013 best EMS program in the state. This “Star of Life” award recognizes outstanding programs for their quality of service and innovation in the field of EMS.

“Here in Howard County, we really have an outstanding system made up of some of the most talented people in the field of EMS,” said County Executive Ken Ulman. “It is an honor to be selected and we hope to continue to be on the cutting edge when it comes to the level of care we provide our citizens.”

HCDFRS was selected for their S-T Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) program which pre-alerts the hospital when crews respond to an incident involving a heart attack or other cardiac distress. This program is made possible because of a strategic partnership with Howard County General Hospital (HCGH) who puts its doctors in motion even before the patient arrives so that time is saved in the delivery of care. This program has now become a model for others in the nation.

“Time makes all the difference in situations like this, which is why we continue to collaborate with the hospital in this way in order to bring about the best patient outcome possible,” said Fire/EMS Chief William Goddard.

In addition to recognizing the STEMI program, MIEMMS also honored the department for the work that various members have done through the Cardiology Intervention Center’s multidisciplinary quality improvement committee. The multidisciplinary meetings include data review, discussion of recent STEMI cases and identification of joint performance improvement opportunities.

“We are truly committed to EMS,” said Medical Director Kevin Seaman. “On average our personnel respond to more than 70 STEMI alerts each year. Our goal is to continue to make strides that impact the entire community.”

On average, our department responds to more than 21,000 calls for emergency medical service each year in Howard County, of which approximately 200 are for sudden cardiac arrest.  For more information on EMS Week and to thank a provider, visit www.Facebook.com/HCDFRS.  

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