NorthStar Ambulance Recertifies for HeartSafe Award
May 20, 2009At an awards ceremony in Augusta on May 19, Governor John Baldacci and Maine EMS Director Jay Bradshaw re-designated NorthStar EMS as a HeartSafe Community EMS Service” at the gold level. NorthStar is the regional ambulance service of Franklin Memorial Hospital.
The HeartSafe Community designation is based on what the American Heart Association calls the chain of survival. The four important links of the chain of survival include: early access to emergency care, early CPR, early defibrillation, and early advanced care. To receive a HeartSafe honor, services are awarded points, called heartbeats, in various cardiac problem prevention areas to determine their level of qualification. NorthStar re-qualified for this award for the third straight year with one of the highest scores in the state.
HeartSafe Communities is a program that helps Maine people improve the chances for survival and recovery after sudden cardiac arrest. The program is a partnership between the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Cardiovascular Health Program and the Maine Emergency Medical Services Office. It recognizes local efforts to provide strong cardiovascular-related emergency care for residents and visitors.
Key to this program is the work behind the scenes to enhance local community partnerships, resources and services. Timely access to emergency care requires a community level response - from prevention, to first responders, to EMS, to arrival at the hospital. HeartSafe Community partnerships make that possible.
NorthStar is unique in the state in the size of its coverage area and the number of towns served. NorthStar provides ambulance service to 26 towns and 46 unorganized territories. In achieving this award on behalf of the communities it serves, NorthStar has developed partnerships with first responder services and facilitated AED placements in schools and places where people congregate. NorthStar also offers CPR and other cardiovascular education in association with Franklin Memorial Hospital and Healthy Community Coalition’s mobile health unit.
NorthStar’s Director, David Robie, commented on the education efforts of the NorthStar staff and the involvement of the community first responders in making this award possible. He said, “We are very happy to achieve this award again at this level and will continue to be a resource to towns to prevent cardiac and stroke occurrences. Through education and using the chain of survival, our goal is a healthy population throughout all the towns for which we provide service.”
More information about NorthStar and its programs can be found at www.fchn.org/NorthStar.
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