NORFOLK, Neb. -- The City of Norfolk Fire Division received the 2024 Mission Lifeline Silver Award for EMS by the American Heart Association, recognizing its excellence in heart attack and stroke emergencies.

The Mission: Lifeline EMS Recognition Program highlights prehospital agencies nationwide that excel in providing critical heart attack and stroke care.

Prehospital personnel play a pivotal role as the first responders to acute emergencies, significantly influencing patient outcomes.

“AHA Mission: Lifeline evaluates our EMS on how we care for every stroke and heart attack patient each year," Lt. Brock Soderberg said. "Early recognition, prompt procedures, administering specific medications, and alerting the receiving hospital are the areas evaluated. In 2023, we surpassed the standards and were awarded the Silver Award. To achieve a Gold Award, we must have two consecutive years of achieving Silver or better."

“Being the first year that we applied, we received the highest award possible. This was a team effort, from the community and elected officials continually supporting our mission, our Medical Director (Dr. George T. Surber) reviewing all patient care reports for quality assurance, to our paramedics and EMTs providing high-quality care around the clock,” Soderberg added.

Established in 2014, the Mission: Lifeline EMS Recognition Program celebrates collaborative efforts among prehospital providers and hospitals to enhance patient care standards.

“I am extremely proud of our team for achieving this recognition," said Fire Chief Tim Wragge. "Emergency medicine is ever-changing, and to keep up with these advancements in treatment, it takes a willingness from staff to spend countless hours training to try to master their craft. Our team does just that, and our shift lieutenants along with medical direction lead the way."

Heart disease and stroke remain leading causes of death in the U.S., emphasizing the critical role of consistent treatment adherence for patient recovery.

"This recognition is one more testament to the excellent work of the Norfolk Fire Division," said Mayor Josh Moenning. "This is a team that is expertly trained, takes their jobs very seriously, and helps save lives in the most challenging environments. We’re proud of their efforts and fortunate to have them serving our community."

Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. experiences a stroke or heart attack, underscoring the urgent need for high-quality emergency medical response.