Created: 05/21/2014 10:54 PM KAALtv.com
By: Jenna Lohse
(ABC 6 News) -- Every year, almost 300,000 people suffer the deadliest type of heart attack known as a ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction or STEMI. To keep them alive, time is of the essence.
Gold Cross Ambulance in Rochester is being recognize for treating these patients as quickly as possible. ABC 6 News rode along with Gold Cross paramedics who have the technology to identify the condition out in the field to cut down response time.
"When we go to chest pain calls, we always go light and sirens,” said Adam Crary, Gold Cross Ambulance Paramedic.
With a potential heart attack, it's all about a quick response time. Especially when dealing with the most deadly type medically known as STEMI. It's a heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart.
"Our Gold Cross medics actually are trained to recognize that heart attack in the ambulance and they're allowed to then activate what's called a cath lab, so the team is ready and waiting at the hospital,” said Anu Luke, Medical Director of Gold Cross Ambulance in Rochester.
Gold Cross Paramedic Adam Crary says he's potentially saved five lives by using this technology to identify a STEMI.
"We can speed that process by calling us, identifying it early in the field, skipping the ER and just going straight there,” said Crary. He says using this protocol, the response time is drastically cut in half.
"This is really about the patient and recognizing the patient right away,” said Luke.
Gold Cross Ambulance in Rochester was recognized for its efforts Wednesday night. They’re the only agency in Minnesota to be awarded The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Award.
For those serving the community like Adam Crary, it's knowing patients received the help they need that makes it all worth it. "We don't hope for people to get sick by any means, but if they're having a STEMI and we can truly make a difference in their life and possibly save their life it is very gratifying,” said Crary.
This week is emergency medical services week. An event was held tonight in Rochester to honor those who put their lives on the line for others.