Prescott Fire Department Deploys New State of the Art Cardiac Care Equipment

In its continuing effort to provide the highest level of emergency medical services to citizens, the City of Prescott recently purchased new electrocardiograph monitors/defibrillators to allow for the treatment of patients who suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting. All paramedics on the Prescott Fire Department are trained in the use of the new equipment and system, and every front line response vehicle is equipped with the new monitors.

“Our Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department routinely evaluates industry-best practices and implements highest standard emergency care that’s best for the citizens of Prescott,” says Prescott Fire Department EMS Chief Cory Moser. “This equipment is considered a leader in the industry, and the technology will help our paramedics and EMTs more effectively treat patients of all types.”

The computer inside each monitor continuously captures snapshots of blood pressure, heart rate, pulse and how the patient is breathing, along with other vital signs. That data is transmitted to the Yavapai Regional Medical Center emergency room over an innovative web-based network.

The emergency room team can then see the patient information on the hospital computer screen in real time. At the hospital, the program consolidates all EMS transmissions on a patient into a single record, quickly providing a clearer progression of patient status without adding additional data management steps for hospital staff.

“In case of a heart attack, improved recovery rates, even survival, are dependent upon how quickly a patient receives treatment,” said Moser. “Our first responders now have this new tool in their medical arsenal designed to provide critical medical information to waiting doctors at YRMC even before a patient arrives in the emergency room.”

“We now have an integrated, system wide approach,” added Moser. “Our local partner agencies had already purchased the same equipment, creating a more efficient community of responders in Yavapai County. We are all empowered by the ability to share important information across devices and organizations, and can stay connected to superior decision support as they work to save lives.”

Prior to purchasing this new equipment, Moser says the Prescott Fire Department paramedics spoke with emergency room doctors by transmitting data over the radio using cumbersome and unreliable modems, and took pictures of the EKG data on their cell phones and emailed that read-out to the emergency room.

“Today, we hit one button on our monitor, and a high quality copy of the EKG is immediately sent to the Emergency Room where an alarm sounds so that it is reviewed immediately,” said Moser.
“Then, by hitting one button, the Emergency Room sends the image to the on-call cardiologist who is also alerted by special tone that he has just received a priority cardiac message. In most instances, the cardiologist is able to determine the course of treatment for the patient long before the patient ever arrives at the hospital.”