Reperfusion delay in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) predicts adverse outcome. We evaluated time from alarm call (system delay) and time from first medical contact (PCI-related delay), where fibrinolysis could be initiated, to balloon inflation in a pre-hospital organization with tele-transmitted electrocardiograms, field triage and direct transfer to a 24/7 primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) center. This was a single center cohort study with long-term follow-up in 472 patients. The PPCI center registry was linked by person identification number to emergency medical services (EMS) and National Board of Health databases in the period of 2005–2008. Patients were stratified according to transfer distances to PPCI into zone 1 (0–25 km), zone 2 (65–100 km) and zone 3 (101–185 km) and according to referral by pre-hospital triage. System delay was 86 minutes (interquartile range (IQR) 72–113) in zone 1, 133 (116–180) in zone 2 and 173 (145–215) in zone 3 (p0.001). PCI-related delay in directly referred patients was 109 (92–121) minutes in zone 2, but exceeded recommendations in zone 3 (139 (121–160)) and for patients admitted via the local hospital (219 (171–250)). System delay was an independent predictor of mortality (p0.001). Pre-hospital triage is feasible in 73% of patients. PCI-related delay exceeded European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines for patients living 100 km away and for non-directly referred patients. Sorting the PPCI centers catchment area into geographical zones identifies patients with long reperfusion delays. Possible solutions are pharmaco-invasive regiments, research in early ischemia detection, airborne transfer and EMS personnel education that ensures pre-hospital triage.