EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Services (EMS) added some hardware to their trophy case on Thursday.
The department received the Mission Lifeline Gold Plus award from the American Heart Association (AHA). The accolade is given to departments that show fast response times for heart attack patients, specifically victims of STEMI heart attacks. Those are attacks where the coronary artery is completely blocked.
According to EMS and the AHA, 90 percent of heart attack victims EMS responded to in 2017 underwent a lifesaving operation in less than 90 minutes of first contact.
Members of the team say the response times are the result of good team work.
"We're able to put those pieces in place, get the right medications, the right processes, procedures, and we're able to do that with our community," said Jon Brazzel, a member of Baton Rouge EMS.
EMS says their average response time was 74 minutes. That's the time from when the call was first made to when surgery begins.
STEMI patients require even faster times because the need for an operation on the blocked artery is immediate.