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When every moment matters, you can count on Castle Rock Fire and Rescue. The department’s excellent level of service is what is getting it recognized by the American Heart Association.The Castle Rock Fire and Rescue Department this month received the American Heart Association’s 2018 Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Recognition Award, which honors Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies for the care they provide for patients who experience severe heart attacks.Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction – the deadliest type of heart attack. It’s caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart, and timely treatment is vital. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate patients from timely access to treatment. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.EMS agencies, such as Castle Rock Fire and Rescue, perform 12-lead ECGs, which measure the electrical activity of the heart and can help determine if a heart attack has occurred. They also follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. These correct tools, training, and practices allow EMS providers to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.Agencies earn this award for providing guidelines-based care, while meeting high standards of performance, for a minimum of 24 consecutive months.Castle Rock Fire and Rescue partners with Castle Rock Adventist Hospital to continually improve care for patients with severe heart attacks. This collaboration allows for sharing of data on every severe heart attack patient transported to the hospital along with the opportunity to review each case to determine if evidence-based guidelines, like those from the American Heart Association, were followed, and – most importantly – if prehospital care can be improved.Get Town news straight to your inbox. Sign up online at CRgov.com/notifyme, or follow the Town on Facebook (facebook.com/CRgov), Twitter (@CRgov) and LinkedIn (search Town of Castle Rock).