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Springfield medics honored for STEMI care

11/21/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Fire Department paramedics are among the best in Summit County when it comes to providing the needed life-saving response to STEMI patients, according to Summa Health Systems officials.


STEMI is an acronym meaning “ST elevation myocardial infarction,” which is the deadliest form of heart attack, according to the American Heart Association. The condition is determined by an electrocardiogram (EKG) test.


The American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 90 minutes from the time a patient is seen by a paramedic to the time of getting proper treatment (re-establishing blood flow) at a hospital for the best survival rates.


Springfield Fire Medical Director Dr. Francis Mencl, an emergency room physician for Summa Health System, and Marie Nichols, STEMI coordinator and a patient researcher and educator for myocardial ischemia, attended the Nov. 14 Springfield Board of Trustees meeting to recognize Springfield paramedics.


Springfield Fire was among about 15 departments that participated in a STEMI pilot study program designed to improve STEMI patient outcomes.


Nichols said the program, which aims to have STEMI patients get the needed treatment within 90 minutes or less, has since become active.


“Springfield Fire paramedics have proven they provide exceptional care,” said Nichols. “They stand among the best.”


Nichols said the paramedics follow established protocols to identify patients and activate STEMI care quickly to ensure they receive the needed treatment. They average 8 to 10 minutes in that process, she added.


Nichols and Mencl explained that Springfield paramedics accomplished that goal through several best-care practices, including:


√ calling the hospital directly to activate a team that is ready for the patient upon arrival, saving 20 minutes.


“Shaving time [in getting proper care for a heart attack victim] saves patients’ lives,” said Nichols;


√ erring on the side of caution when identifying the problem, which improves the outcome for patients.  “More often than not, they are correct,” said Nichols. “This speaks to the quality of the paramedics”; and


√ administering life-saving drugs on scene instead of waiting for doctors at the hospital to give the patient appropriate medicine.


Springfield Fire Chief Vic Wincik attributed the department’s accomplishment to a conscious effort beginning in 2008 to reduce the reliance on part-time personnel and move to more full-time personnel, which he said improved “critical thinking skills.”


In other business at the meeting, trustees discussed at length a home at 3072 Ellet Ave. that was to be declared a nuisance and scheduled for demolition.


The home has been vacant for eight years and has a cracked foundation, an interior load bearing wall that has come down, a hole in the roof, siding that is missing, a rotting porch and other problems.


The home is owned by Tom Kraft, who argued that despite recommendations from the Summit County Building Department, Summit County Public Health and the Springfield Zoning Department that the house should be torn down, he believed it could be refurbished. He told trustees he had just made $2,000 in improvements to the home.


Trustees told him that if he agrees to its demolition, the township can use an Ohio Moving Forward grant to reduce the cost of demolition; otherwise, the total cost to demolish the home would be placed as a lien on the property.


After considerable debate, trustees agreed to give him until a Dec. 5 special meeting to get estimates to determine how much it would cost to make the home habitable and to see if he can afford to do so in a reasonable amount of time. He also was advised not to put any more money into the home until trustees decide whether it can be saved.


Trustees also gave the owner of a home at 1008 Krumroy Road until Dec. 5 to compile a specific schedule of improvements and schedule an inspection of the inside of the home before deciding whether to proceed on declaring the property a nuisance and initiating abatement on the home.


Michael Bellak, of Coventry, told trustees he has never received a notice of problems with the home, which he has owned for five years, and this effort to demolish the home was the first he had heard of the township’s dissatisfaction with the property.


Zoning Administrator Patricia Ryan said a certified letter was sent to the home itemizing the problems. She acknowledged that owners of many of these properties do not live in the home.


Trustees did approve the demolition of structures at 655 Junior Ave. and 112 Dangel Ave., and reassigned the job for 1747 McChesney Ave. and 2295 Mingo Trail to another company.


In other business, trustees approved:


• a seven-year commitment encumbering funds to purchase fire equipment not yet specified and allocating a total of $508,989 from various funds over that time;


• to increase appropriations in Fund 2905 Juvenile Grant to $24,181 for the salary of the safety officer at Springfield High School;


• the transfer of $17,000 from the General Fund to the Reserve Accumulated Leave Fund to pay for longevity payouts in December; and


• a payment of $1,549 for repairs to pumper truck 3113.


At a special meeting Nov. 13, trustees approved the creation of a parks operator and building and grounds specialist, as well as advertisements seeking candidates for the two positions.


In addition, trustees approved an estimated proposal of $1,350 for holiday light replacements for the Holiday Lights on the Lake animated displays.


Also, Police Chief John Smith announced dates for department events: Fill a Cruiser, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 from noon to 8 p.m. at Wal-Mart, 2887 S. Arlington Road, to collect toys, clothing and food; Shop With A Cop, the morning of Dec. 14; and the township’s Christmas Tree Light ceremony, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.


The meeting was the last for Trustee Bruce Killian, and officials took time to recognize him for his 22 years of service to the community. Killian began as a trustee in January 1992. He held the seat through 2007, ran for and was elected as fiscal officer for 2008-09, and left that position to run for a trustee seat in 2010, to which he was elected.


Killian thanked his wife, Mary Ann, for her support, recognized township employees “who work diligently to make it safe for residents” and voters for “allowing me to serve as an elected official and entrusting me with the job.”


Smith said that even though Killian was a part-time employee, he was at the township offices “all the time.” He thanked Killian for “all you have done for the township.”


Trustee Dean Young said Killian has been a “reservoir of knowledge,” and Trustee Deborah Davis acknowledged Killian’s contributions and assistance over the years.


A retirement open house to honor Killian will take place Dec. 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Town Hall, 2459 Canfield Road. The public is invited to attend the event.


A special trustees’ meeting took place Nov. 21, after presstime, to review nuisance properties. The next regular meeting will be Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.


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