PERINTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Perinton Ambulance is getting national recognition for its response to heart attacks.

The American Heart Association is honoring its dedication to quality care in these critical moments, with the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Bronze Plus award.

Mike Hoskins, Chief of Perinton Ambulance says he’s ecstatic to be receiving this award; it acknowledges their rapid, research-based care, for the most severe heart attacks.

“It’s a recognition of the hard work our staff does day in and day out to care for heart attack patients, also known as STEMIs,” he said.

The AHA has established strict benchmark criteria for these specific calls.

Over the course of 2021, Hoskins says his staff has exceeded those marks.

“It has a number of criteria, including things like rapid identification of heart attacks. Any patients complaining of things like chest pains, dizziness, lightheadedness, or anything consistent with a heart attack, trigger us to obtain an EKG,” he said.

If they identify a person is having a heart attack — seconds matter.

Hoskins says the goal is to quickly transport them to an appropriate hospital for care – as not every location can really facilitate a cardiac catheterization. Notifying the hospital before is crucial as well.

Hoskins says this is quite routine for the department; chest pains, are a common call. “The biggest part for us is recognition and notification.”

“Our crews are already thinking, ‘Okay, this is a person with chest pain, it could be this, it could be that we’re building that differential diagnosis,” he said.

The pandemic has certainly brought its challenges, though: more calls and pressure on the industry due to staffing shortages.

Through it all, Hoskins says his team continues to bring forth their best, each day.

And there’s always room to grow.

“We are looking at our mission data quarterly for this year, and constantly putting that information and data In front of staff, to say here’s how we’re doing, here’s how we can do better. By constantly evaluating, focusing on improvement, we’re able to stay sharp and deliver the best care for our patients,” he said.

The department is looking to hire a number of vacancies. They’re hoping for a county-wide workforce development program for ems, in the near future.