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National EMS outpaces national average for cardiac success rate

CONYERS — National EMS, the county’s contracted emergency medical service, significantly outpaces the nation in cardiac success rates, Rockdale commissioners were told Tuesday.

In his quarterly report to commissioners, National EMS CEO Benny Atkins said that the national cardiac arrest success rate — patients who are transported and survive to hospital discharge — is 9.5 percent. Rockdale’s rate is 27 percent for the past 11 months, Atkins said.

“We are well above the national average on that; we would put those numbers up against any service and we are so proud,” said Atkins.

Atkins attributed that success rate to the cooperative effort between agencies and health care providers in Rockdale County.

“That is successful not only because of the paramedics and the EMTs, but also the first response system through the fire department and the sheriff’s department and also a quality hospital here at Rockdale Medical Center,” he said.

National EMS also contracts with Morgan, Clarke and Oconee counties for emergency medical services. Of the four counties, only Oconee County’s cardiac success rate is greater than Rockdale’s at 50 percent.

Atkins also reported that the National EMS response time continues to beat its goal of 8.59 minutes, with Priority I calls averaging 7.52 minutes in response time.

Rockdale Medical Center was the primary destination for EMS transports so far this year, Atkins said, with 62 percent of the total 8,144 patients transported taken there. Patients were also transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston (147), Newton Medical Center (151), Grady Memorial Hospital (132), Atlanta Medical Center (126) and a variety of other facilities (330).

Twenty-seven percent of the EMS calls were for public assistance in cases where patients declined or did not need to be transported.

The largest age group transported by National EMS over the past 11 months was over 65; the smallest number of patients transported was in the 6 to 12 years of age group.

The busiest call time for the EMS continued to be around 7 a.m., followed by 4 p.m. Friday was the busiest day, followed by Thursday.

National EMS contracts annually with Rockdale County for emergency response and ambulance services. The contract calls for the county to pay $449,000 annually, plus an annual fuel allowance of $35,000.