RICHARDSON – The Richardson Fire Department recently received the Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award from the American Heart Association for the fourth year-in-a-row with the last three being the Gold Plus.

The award recognizes the Department for its success in treating and transporting patients who suffer a type of severe heart attack known as a ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI), which is caused by the complete blockage of blood flow to the heart.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI that requires timely treatment in order to prevent death, and restoration of blood flow as quickly as possible.

“I am very proud that the Richardson Fire Department was awarded this. It shows the commitment of our EMS teams and the local hospitals to the great care for cardiac patients in our community,” said Curtis Poovey, Richardson Fire Chief.

To reach gold recognition, the American Heart Association requires first responders to get STEMI victims from first contact into catheterization surgery in less than 90 minutes at least 75 percent of the time.  Richardson emergency medical personnel far exceed that standard by working with Methodist Richardson Medical Center and other area hospitals.