Don't Die of Doubt

Trained and Equipped to Deliver Life-Saving Care

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team is the first step toward treatment if heart attack symptoms are present. These first responders have extensive training in heart resuscitation programs, pre-hospital evaluations, stabilizing the patient and much more.

Care begins by calling 911 immediately and continues with EMS arrival. These highly trained medical emergency responders look after the patient prior to and during transport to the hospital. They communicate to the ER teams who are waiting to provide treatment as soon as the ambulance arrives.

EMS Teams Have the Training, Skill and Equipment that Make a Difference in Surviving a Heart Attack

  • More than 1,000 hours of coursework plus clinical hours of training in Advanced Life Support (ALS) Training and experience in advanced airway management, cardiology and pharmacology – essential knowledge for heart attack treatment
  • Ability to interpret ECG (electro cardiogram) rhythm and provide advanced cardiac life support – both before and during transportation to the ER
  • Expertise in conducting CPR and/or using a defibrillator when needed to revive a patient’s heart
  • State licensing to assure competency Don't drive to the ER. Don't ask someone else to drive.

Call 911 for much more than a ride to the hospital! Call 911 for life-saving care.

"Time is of the essence when you're having a heart attack. With information from EMS, the hospital team and the doctor can move fast and work to restore the heart's blood flow more quickly to save lives." Dr. John Warner, Chief Executive at the University of Texas' Southwestern University Hospitals.

This campaign was made possible through the generous support of the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation at Communities Foundation of Texas. To help support the Don't Die of Doubt initiative and learn about the matching grant from the W. W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation at Communities Foundation of Texas, please contact Robby Goodman.

Survivor Stories

Every heart attack survivor has a story to tell. The doubts, the symptoms and the treatment they experienced compose powerful individual stories right from their hearts. They share these stories so that others may learn and benefit from their experiences - and seek care as early as possible by calling 911. We welcome your stories.

The American Heart Association wants to create a community of heart attack survivors who shared their stories so others can benefit from the actions taken and the lessons learned. Please considering joining our effort and share your story with us. Submit your story - what happened and the actions you took - regarding your heart attack. Please include your personal contact information and we will contact you before adding your story to the community of heart attack survivors.

Meet Robert S. from Azle, Texas. Heart attack survivor.

Robert was at his home in January of 2015 when he began experiencing severe chest pain. "Something told me this was different and I better get help" he said. Robert was home alone in his apartment so he walked to his apartment manager’s office and asked her to call 911 right away. The Azle Fire Department arrived within a few minutes to Robert’s side and immediately began assessing his condition. Robert’s heart rate and blood pressure had dropped significantly so he doesn’t remember much after the EMT’s arrived other than what he called a “relieved feeling” knowing he was in good hands.

The paramedics performed a 12-lead ECG on Robert and quickly determined he was having a STEMI (the most severe) heart attack. Thanks to their quick recognition and the ability to activate the cath lab while still en-route to Plaza Medical Center, the EMT’s were able to transport Robert directly from the ambulance to the cath lab where medical intervention takes place without delay. In fact, Robert’s blocked vessel was opened within 80 minutes from the onset of his first symptom resulting in no significant damage to his heart. When asked what he would tell his friends and family if they thought they might be having a heart attack, Robert says, "Definitely call 911. If it wasn't for that team of people, I wouldn't be here today!"

This campaign was made possible through the generous support of the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation at Communities Foundation of Texas. To help support the Don't Die of Doubt initiative and learn about the matching grant from the W. W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation at Communities Foundation of Texas, please contact Robby Goodman.

There is no time for doubt with a heart attack. Calling 911 at the first signs of a heart attack could save your life. Reducing time to medical treatment is the primary factor in surviving a heart attack. Calling 911 is the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Find out more:

Don't Die of Doubt - Indigestion(link opens in new window)

Don't Die of Doubt - Drive(link opens in new window)

Don't Die of Doubt - Foolish(link opens in new window)