WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Time is of the essence, especially when it comes to chest pain.

Trumbull Regional Medical Center held its first STEMI drill of the year. STEMI is a type of heart attack that mainly affects your lower heart chamber.

Trumbull Regional Medical Center works in collaboration with local EMS crews to ensure the most timely treatment.

Thursday, the medical center worked with the McDonald Fire Department.

“The importance of STEMI drills is to work with our EMS crews on early activation from the field,” said Sheryl Baker, who works in the cardiovascular unit.

Baker is a registered nurse at Trumbull Regional. She said if somebody is having chest pain and thinks a heart attack is possible, an EKG can be sent from the field.

EMS sends the EKG to the hospital so that before the patient arrives, his or her tests can be evaluated and proper treatment can happen.

Baker said heart attack signs are not always easy to recognize.

“Sometimes women feel kind of sick, nauseated, abdominal pain, whereas men usually have a crushing chest pain,” she said.

McDonald paramedic Timothy Grant said it’s a race against the clock when dealing with chest pain.

“Time is muscle. Being quick and efficient and having all the capabilities and the tools and the people in place at that time. They are all key factors in good survival outcomes,” he said.

Grant said to be safe, it’s important to be aware of signs and symptoms.

“If you are having any symptoms of heart attack, chest pain, definitely call 911,” he said.

According to the McDonald Fire Department, these drills are important to practice efficient treatment.

The second STEMI drill is expected to happen this October.