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South Jordan Journal

South Jordan Fire Department receives Heart Association award

Nov 04, 2019 03:07PM ● By Susan Palmer

The South Jordan Fire Department is given its award On Oct. 1. (Susan Palmer/City Journals)

Susan Palmer | [email protected]

The unthinkable occurs: You or a loved one experiences sudden unrelenting chest pain or other signs of a heart attack. Panic is the first thing that sets in. 

You then realize you need immediate help, so you grab your cell phone and call 911.  If you are in South Jordan, the best equipped and well-trained response EMT teams are rushed to your aid. In the event of a heart attack your survival and recovery depend on a ticking clock every second counts. How fast can you receive the medical intervention that might be required to save your life?

In 2008, the South Jordan Fire Department initiated the pre-hospital 12-lead program in the Salt Lake Valley. Emergency Medical crews were equipped with a 12-lead EKG machine in their vehicle, and the crews were given extensive training on administering this diagnostic technology.  

Once the results of the 12-lead EKG are obtained, it is transmitted to the emergency room doctor at Jordan Valley Medical Center for immediate interpretation. If a heart attack is determined, the hospital will activate the cardiac cath lab with information that a heart attack victim is in transit they need to be ready. Even in the middle of the night, the cardiac cath lab teams will immediately head to the hospital with the activation notice. During this time, the patient is being transported to the appropriate hospital. A cardiac catheterization is performed and will determine what intervention is required, if any. If medical intervention is required, it can be done immediately. All the time the clock is ticking, but the response time has been greatly diminished, and lives are being saved. The target total response time is 120 minutes or less.  

This program was started between SoJo Fire Department and Jordan Valley Medical Center.  The medical director for SoJo Fire Dept Dr. Bart Johnson, an ER doctor at Jordan Valley Hospital, was instrumental in setting up this program. The closest hospitals to SoJo are participating, Jordan Valley Medical Center and Intermountain Medical Center. This cooperation has now been incorporated to the majority of hospitals in the Salt Lake Valley and their emergency rooms are set up to receive 12-lead EKG results from the field.

At the South Jordan City Council meeting on Oct. 1, Jessica Rosing, regional director for the American Heart Association , presented to the South Jordan Fire Department the American Heart Association Mission Lifeline Award for meritorious service. The award was accepted by members of the South Jordan Fire Department, including Chris Dawson, Ryan Lessner and Michael Richards.

When presenting this award, Rosing said, “This is a national recognition that we offer to Fire Departments and EMS across the country because at American Heart we recognize the key role that our pre-hospital clinicians play in what we call in the chain of survival.”