Wiscasset EMS gets ‘gold’

Posted:  Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 5:45pm

Wiscasset Ambulance Service has been named a Maine HeartSafe Community,  earning the “Gold” designation. The program is a cooperative initiative of the Maine Emergency Medical Services  Office and the Maine Cardiovascular Health Council. The program recognizes local efforts to provide strong cardiovascular-related emergency care for residents and visitors, and promotes partnership between local EMS services and community partners to improve overall cardiovascular health and awareness.

The designation is based on what the American Heart Association calls the “Chain of Survival.” The chain’s four components are early access to emergency care, early CPR, early defibrillation and early advanced care. To receive a HeartSafe honor, cities and towns are awarded points called “heartbeats,” based on their ability to meet program criteria that include CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training for community members; public education and awareness of the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke; EMS first response vehicles equipped with AED’s; public AED placement and training; Advanced Life Support dispatched as primary or backup responders for all medical emergencies; and ongoing evaluation of the community’s Chain of Survival.

So far, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Basic designations have been awarded to 89 EMS services, covering 300-plus communities in Maine, and more than 1,041,542 residents.

Wiscasset Ambulance Service’s “Gold” designation follows the agency’s efforts to improve community safety through programs like CPR, AED training, adoption of the town AED program, the Child Safety Seat Program, and continuous education.

Through the safety measures of the Chain of Survival, we can improve the survival rate for cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke victims. Measures such as early CPR and increased access to defibrillation make a tremendous difference in survival and recovery outcomes.

Heart disease and stroke account for one in three deaths in Maine. To increase survival and improve outcomes, HeartSafe Communities are enhancing their emergency response capacity, increasing public recognition of the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke, and promoting the importance of calling 911 immediately.

To learn more, visit: http://www.mainecardiohealth.org.