Old News Archive

Mayo EMS Receives Heartsafe Communities Recognition

May 04, 2007 - TRC

DOVER-FOXCROFT - The 20 towns served by Mayo Regional Hospital's Emergency Medical Service ambulance have been designated as Maine HeartSafe Communities.

The Maine HeartSafe Community program is a cooperative initiative of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Cardiovascular Health Program and the Maine Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Office. The program recognizes local efforts made to provide strong cardiovascular-related emergency care for residents and visitors, and promotes partnerships between local EMS services and communities to improve overall cardiovascular health and awareness. The focus is on increasing the capacity of communities to prevent, identify and treat sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke.

Mayo Regional Hospital EMS will receive its Maine HeartSafe Communities designation from Gov. John Baldacci during National EMS Week at a recognition event planned for Tuesday, May 22, from 2:30-4:00 p.m. at the Hall of Flags in Augusta.

The HeartSafe Community designation is based on what the American Heart Association calls the "Chain of Survival." The four components of the Chain of Survival include 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. Those criteria 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 AEDs.
* Public AED placement and training.
*Advanced Life Support dispatched as primary or backup responders for all medical emergencies.
*Ongoing evaluation of the community's Chain of Survival.

So far, Platinum, Gold, or Basic designations have been awarded to over 70 communities in Maine. Towns served by Mayo EMS have earned the Gold designation, since Mayo guarantees there will be paramedic-level service on every ambulance call.
"Through the safety measures of the Chain of Survival, we can improve the survival rate for cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke victims," said Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Brenda Harvey, "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. It's estimated that more than 95 percent of cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. However, in cases where defibrillation is provided within five to seven minutes, the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest jumps to 49 percent.

If you have any questions about the Maine HeartSafe Communities program, contact Mayo Regional Hospital's Heartwise program at 564-4207.

Submitted by : Tom Lizotte, Mayo Regional Hospital, 564-4342

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.