City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 20 celebrated the Sacramento Fire Department for being recognized as a highly competent first responder to cardiac emergencies by the American Heart Association.

The recognition, called “Mission: Lifeline EMS,” is an award given to emergency medical service staff for their extensive training and response to maximize the survival chance of patients experiencing what’s known as a “STEMI” — a severe type of heart attack.

The award is based on several criteria including time to first medical contact with a patient and transportation to a hospital.

For the past three years, Sac Fire has demonstrated rapid response times each year in STEMI care.

Fire staff holding a copy of the 2019 Mission: Lifeline EMS Award inside City Hall Council Chambers. Aug. 20, 2019.

“Two years ago, we got a silver and I said we will be back for gold,” said Sac Fire Deputy Chief Chad Augustin. “Last year, we received a gold and I said we will be back for ‘Gold Plus.’ What our men and women do on daily basis at the Fire Department is impressive and it truly makes a difference.”

With advanced methods to improve patient care and outcomes, Sacramento is one of the only three fire departments in California to achieve this standard.

Nationally, an estimated 250,000 Americans suffer from severe heart attacks each year.