Springfield medics receive national heart care award

The American Heart Association has recognized the Springfield Fire/Rescue Division for its cardiac care.

The medics of the division have received the Mission: Lifeline Gold Award for the service they provided to patients in need of heart care last year, said Capt. Brian Leciejewski, who oversees the training bureau at the fire house.

“I’m really proud,” said Leciejewski, who described the division as providing a quick and thorough response.

Springfield firefighters were the only local ambulance service to receive the award for the second year in a row.

There are certain criteria a fire department must fulfill to be in standing for the award. Firstly, medics must transport all their heart patients from their home to a hospital within 90 minutes. Also medics are required to get every heart patient older than 35 on a heart monitor before they got to the hospital.

That can be difficult for medics, Leciejewski said, who often assist confused and anxious patients.

The Springfield Fire/Rescue Division will continue to work toward the goals of the award this year, he said.

“We’re going for three,” years in a row for the award, the captain said.