Advancing the EMS profession

Stroke Awareness Resources

EMS can help educate patients and the general public about the importance of calling 911 for help when people are experiencing symptoms of stroke.  

Here are the latest resources:

Visit OverReact2Stroke to view resources for healthcare professionals.

Get Ahead of Stroke

From the Get Ahead of Stroke Campaign:

  • Awareness of stroke symptoms/BE FAST:
      1. B – loss of balance
      2. E – loss of or blurry eyesight
      3. F – Face drooping
      4. A – Arm weakness
      5. S – Speech difficulty
      6. T – Time to call 911
  • Encourage your friends and family to spot symptoms using BE FAST and to call 911 right away for immediate treatment.
    • For example: “Getting to the right place, at the right time, is critical when it comes to stroke care, so let’s help our loved ones #BEFAST-er than stroke. #Survivestroke”
  • Share advice based on personal experiences with stroke.


  • The Stroke Scales for EMS mobile app is a tool to help first responders and EMS personnel assess a patient’s stroke severity.
  • First Responders Fact Sheet shares statistics related to strokes and stroke care to show first responders why the Get Ahead of Stroke campaign aims to improve systems of care for severe stroke patients.
  • One of the most effective ways to educate people about the lifesaving treatment that stroke patients can access at Level 1 stroke centers is to hear from those patients directly. Patient stories help dispel myths about stroke (e.g., It only happens to older people), educate people when and how to seek help (e.g., Call 911 right away), and connect people to the reality that recovery from stroke—even at an advanced age—is possible.
  • Since our campaign started in 2016, we have invested time in capturing these stories and bringing them to life on our website. For several, we even have video—either in interview format or animation—so visitors to or our social media platforms can see and hear from those who lived to tell their stroke story.
  • Constituents matter to decision-makers and bringing their voices forward can influence whether legislative changes that can improve stroke systems of care in their state are embraced or rejected. That’s why our campaign is calling on our partners within the states where we are currently seeding change to help us gather these patient experiences. You and your networks are an essential part of a successful state legislative strategy.
  • If you know a stroke patient or a family member—including pediatric stroke—who has a compelling story and would be willing to share it, we invite you to reach out to the campaign today. We are specifically interested in stories involving a severe stroke known as an emergent large vessel occlusion, as this kind of stroke is most life-threatening and is the focal point for our campaign. Contact LeAnne DeFrancesco at with the specifics, including patient contact information, if permissible.