Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Emergency Air Medical Base Lands in Rural Oklahoma

DUNCAN — Air Evac Lifeteam strives to bring air medical emergency response to rural America, a mission that prompted them to relocate their base from Lawton to Duncan’s Halliburton Field.

“The company’s mission is to provide aircraft service to the rural community,” Lori Herrian, a Certified Flight Registered Nurse and Certified Emergency Nurse, said.

“Lawton is the third largest city in the state of Oklahoma. It is becoming a receiving facility. People go into Lawton now instead of out so much. The mission of the company is to be where the aircraft is needed the quickest.”

The team arrived in Duncan Feb. 15 after spending 10 years in Lawton. The expansion also included adding an aircraft to the Altus area. The team’s primary area extends about 70 miles in each direction to include Duncan, Lawton and Altus but may also include calls as far away as Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. Once a patient is picked up, the patient is transported to a nearby facility that is the most appropriate facility for that patient’s injury.

Program Director Heather Taylor said the helicopter can land almost anywhere allowing patients to receive help quicker than an ambulance or other medical personnel to be able to get to them.

Each crew member with Air Evac Lifeteam goes through extensive training including a six month orientation period in addition to their previous experience. When one of the company’s helicopters take to the sky, a medic and a nurse are on board with the pilot, ready to act quickly and assist with any medical emergency.

“The nurses and the medics need to have at least three years of critical care experience before even applying plus all the national certifications,” Herrian said. “We have a lot of intense training on acute injuries and interventions needed to save their lives.”

“We are very different from the paramedics you find on the street and the nurses you find in the hospital,” Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic Landon Hardin said.

Additionally, each pilot is required to have at least a commercial pilot’s license with at least 1,500 hours.

Shifts require them to be available at all hours, Herrian said, and they live a lifestyle similar to a firefighter. Until construction is completed on their living facilities at the airport, the crew is renting a home to be used as temporary quarters.

“We have what is called our base-in-the-box, which will be modular-type home for our crew quarters,” Project Director Heather Taylor said. “We will also build a hangar for easier access from the airport to wherever we need to go.”

Taylor said they anticipate a June 1 move-in date to their permanent facility.

Anyone that knows of or is involved in an emergency can call a team out to respond. The crew is ready to assist with any emergency medical situation.

“We are closer now than we ever were,” Hardin said. “In Lawton, it would take roughly 13 to 15 minutes to make it over here. When it comes to trauma, heart attacks or strokes, all that stuff is time sensitive. We shoot for an hour from the time the injury occurs to the time they are in surgery. We ate up 15 minutes of that just getting over here.”

“I, personally, have always said ‘Give me the sickest patient,’” Herrian said. I love that. I love a challenge. I trained over 10 years to have these skills. I want to use them. It is not that I want anybody to get sick or hurt but if they are going to be that way, let me be there to help take care of them.”

While Air Evac Lifeteam is funded by individual, couple or family memberships, the service is available for those who are not members. Only members will not have to pay for the cost of the transport. For membership information, call 800-793-0010 or visit www.joinlifeteam.com.

Air Evac Lifeteam has received various medical honors including accreditation by the Commission on Accrediation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS). Anyone needing assistance should call (800) Air-Evac.

RELATED ARTICLES

Understanding Why EMS Systems Fail

Learn to recognize trigger points that could ruin your system.

West River Ambulance Receives New Rig

West River Ambulance in Hettinger, ND recently received a much-needed upgrade from their 1992 rig. A 2014 Ford/AEV Type III Custom Conversion rig with a 6.8 ...

Unlikely Pairing Leads to Health Care Education Wins

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Nursing and Harris County Emergency Corps (HCEC) have formed an unlikely pairin...

Know When and How Your Patient Can Legally Refuse Care

Refusal of care straddles the intersection of ethical, legal and scientific domains of prehospital practice.

Reflecting on 35 Years of Innovation in JEMS

Take a walk through the last 35 years of EMS in JEMS.

Readers Sound Off About Glove Use After Patient Care

How often are you susceptible to potentially unclean surfaces?

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers