Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS Receives American Heart Association Elite Status Award

PITTSBURGH, PA, (September 30, 2019) – The Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS was honored today with the American Heart Association’s 2019 Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award.

The honor recognizes the critical life-saving role of EMS in providing care to patients suffering from an acute myocardial infarction, or a heart attack.

“The City of Pittsburgh EMS is driving improvements in the care and outcomes of the residents of the City of Pittsburgh.” said the American Heart Association’s Gina Hrach, Director of Quality Systems Improvement.

Hrach presented the award to Pittsburgh EMS Chief Ron Romano, who received it on behalf of the Bureau. Romano thanked all EMS personnel for all of their hard work and dedication that made the award possible.

Assistant Chief Mark Pinchalk thanked all EMS partners for helping them meet a difficult metric.

“We see approximately 60 patients per year having a STEMI - or ST Elevation MI – where the goal is from the time we get a paramedic on scene, until they are in the cardiac catheterization lab, and their vessels open and their heartbeat’s reprofused is less than 90 minutes. We were able to achieve that metric in about 80 per cent of our cases for 2018 and our average time is around 80 minutes. So, that’s a pretty good metric we’re able to pull off with the resources we have available to us,” said Pinchalk.

City of Pittsburgh Medical Director Dr. Ron Roth provided a different measure to highlight EMS skills in Pittsburgh. He recounted the story of a participant in last year’s Great Race where a runner went into cardiac arrest near the finish line, but was revived by paramedics and doctors. This year he ran the 10 K race with his family and thanked Pittsburgh EMS for the ability to do so.

“We saw him not as a percentage or a number. We saw him as a father, a husband, and he introduced his little grand baby. And I think we saw what we get from being very vigilant and all the hard work our city medics do. ” said Roth.

Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich echoed those sentiments.

“You have the statistics, but to each statistic there’s a human life involved, whether it’s a father, mother, son, daughter, it’s important to the individual, whether or not they’re a resident, whether they’re a visitor to the city of Pittsburgh,” said Hissrich, congratulating paramedics and EMT’s on the award.

Mayor William Peduto commended Pittsburgh EMS and hospitals for working hand-in-hand to provide critical care in the City of Pittsburgh.

“While you’re here, whether you’re a resident or a visitor, you will be given the best care possible,” said Peduto.

This is the second year in a row the Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS has received this elite status award from the American Heart Association.






Cara Cruz
Assistant Public Information Officer
Public Safety


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