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NAEMT, Genentech launch stroke indicator, 911 importance PSA

The partnership is promoting the use of the BE FAST acronym to help people recognize the symptoms of stroke and when to call for help

By Rachel Engel

CLINTON, Miss. — The National Association of EMTs, in partnership with Genentech, is announcing a new public service announcement campaign about the signs and symptoms of stroke, and the importance of calling 911 once symptoms are recognized.

The partnership is promoting the use of the acronym BE FAST:

  • Difficulty or changes in Balance

  • Vision changes in one or both Eyes

  • Face drooping

  • Arm weakness

  • Speech difficulty

  • Time to call 911

“EMS plays a crucial role in assessing stroke and making sure patients are taken to hospitals best equipped to care for them,” NAEMT President Bruce Evans said in a statement. “We must increase awareness of the urgent need to call 911 when an individual displays any of the signs of stroke so that EMS can respond. This new public service announcement will expand the public’s understanding about stroke and encourage them to call 911 for help.”

A recent national survey of EMS agencies showed that overall EMS call volumes have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

“We hope this important public service announcement empowers and educates people, so they quickly recognize signs of stroke in themselves or in someone else, and treat it as a serious medical emergency that requires immediate care,” said Gregory Rippon, MD, MS, vice president, Neurology, Ophthalmology and Internal Medicine, Medical Affairs, Genentech.