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FMC Recognizes First Responders, Partners for Excellence in Emergency Heart Care

Article originally published on December 14, 2020.

Recently, members of Fairfield Medical Center’s cardiac and emergency response team hit the road to honor some of their greatest teammates in the region: first responders.

When a heart attack strikes, receiving fast, lifesaving care is crucial to survival – and Fairfield Medical Center knows that every second counts. For patients arriving to FMC by ambulance with a very serious type of heart attack called an ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI), FMC’s staff is alerted during transport, allowing them to provide critical care immediately upon arrival. And while FMC’s dedicated team has been recognized annually by the American Heart Association for their impressive intervention times and excellence in cardiac treatment, those accomplishments wouldn’t be possible without the help of the community.

Deserae “Des” Belcher, RN and STEMI coordinator, spends her days – and nights – managing the arrival of ambulances carrying heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest patients to FMC’s Main Campus Emergency Department. She knows firsthand just how valuable first responders are to the region.

“Having a good relationship with our EMS teams is so important,” Des explained. “They are the first line of defense. Without them, so many cardiac patients would never even make it to our doors for treatment, let alone walk away with great outcomes. These men and women really are an extension of our team.”

By the end of their traveling awards banquet, FMC’s representatives will have recognized first responders across southeastern Ohio, including members of Lancaster Fire Stations 501, 502 and 503, Greenfield Township Fire Department, Bremen-Rushcreek Fire Department, Basil/Baltimore Fire & EMS, Pleasant Township Fire Department, Athens County EMS and Hocking County EMS. Transport teams (ValueCare Ambulance Service, Portsmouth Ambulance and Medflight) and neighboring emergency department teams (Hocking Valley ED and O’Bleness ED) will also be recognized for the lifesaving heart attack care they provide in partnership with FMC.

“We really just want our EMS and surrounding healthcare teams to know how appreciated they are,” Des added. “Saving lives is a group effort, and we’re lucky to have some of the best crews on our side.”

In addition to first responders, community members often find themselves in a position to save lives. Knowing how to respond in case of sudden cardiac arrest is a vital first step to improving patient outcomes. Individuals of all ages are encouraged to learn CPR and improve AED awareness. To learn more about training opportunities, contact FMC’s community educator Resa Tobin at 740-687-8477 or resa@fmchealth.org.


Learn more about the accomplishments, awards and recognition of these first responders.


Learn more about how you can become a hero.

The Community Heart Watch, formed in partnership with Fairfield Medical Center,
was created with one mission in mind: to save lives across the region.


“By the grace of God, someone inside that fire station heard me that morning. And FMC’s response was so choreographed, like they’d done it a thousand times before. I know it all could have ended differently that day, and that puts a lot of things into perspective.”

Sudden cardiac arrest survivor Scott Hardwick owes his life to the emergency response teams of Lancaster Fire Station 502 and Fairfield Medical Center.

Learn more about Scott’s story here.