Maury Regional EMS and Columbia Fire & Rescue earn national recognition from American Heart Association


COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Maury Regional Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Columbia Fire & Rescue (CFR) have received joint recognition as recipients of the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures to treat patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

Each year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack, which is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

“This recognition from the American Heart Association signifies the level of care our first responders provide to the citizens of our community,” said Maury Regional EMS Director Brian Hupp. “This award also recognizes the true teamwork of our EMS providers, the Maury Regional Health system and our community partners like Columbia Fire & Rescue. When caring for a patient, seconds count. As emergency medical professionals, it is our responsibility to provide care to these patients with speed and precision. Our community deserves nothing less.”

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® program helps reduce barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks — starting from when 911 is called to EMS transport and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge. Optimal care for heart attack patients takes place between the individual hospital, EMS and the health care system.

"Columbia Fire & Rescue is honored to be recognized alongside Maury Regional EMS for our commitment to providing the highest level of pre-hospital care and improving patient outcomes in our area of service,” said Columbia Fire & Rescue Chief Ty Cobb. “Thanks to our strong partnership with Maury Regional, we are able to meet and exceed national American Heart Association standards and deliver prompt treatment for patients experiencing a cardiac event.”

Program participants apply for the Mission: Lifeline® award recognition by demonstrating how their organizations have committed to improving quality care for STEMI patients. In 2020, Maury Regional EMS received the silver-level award. This year, to receive the Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Achievement Award, Maury Regional EMS and Columbia Fire & Rescue collectively maintained and exceeded performance levels set forth by the guidelines for at least one calendar year.

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital role in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D., chair of the Mission: Lifeline® Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “Since they are often the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient.”

Maury Regional Health has a top-rated staff of paramedics and emergency medical technicians who respond to ambulance calls across Lewis, Maury and Wayne counties. Columbia Fire & Rescue serves a 30-square-mile area and includes a team of certified emergency medical technicians and paramedics who operate multiple medical rescue units.

In addition to EMS, services available at Maury Regional Medical Center for those experiencing a heart attack or cardiac arrest include an emergency department, cardiac catheterization laboratory, cardiac diagnostics, inpatient cardiac unit and cardiac rehabilitation. Learn more at

Photo Caption: Pictured outside Maury Regional Medical Center are (l-r) Keith Whitmore, an advanced emergency medical technician (AEMT) for Maury Regional EMS; Maury Regional EMS Training Manager Michael Dunavant; Maury Regional EMS Director Brian Hupp; Maury Regional EMS Assistant Director Amanda Schatz; Baylee Simmons, a paramedic for Maury Regional EMS; Josiah Beatty, a paramedic and firefighter for CFR;  Ben Whiddon, an AEMT for CFR; CFR Deputy Chief Nick Brown; Maury Regional Health COO Kenny Boyd; CFR Chief Ty Cobb; and Maury Regional Health CEO Alan Watson.

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