PROGRESS 2021:Flying into service: Air Evac Lifeteam provides service to Lincoln, surrounding counties
Since July of 2008, Air Evac Lifeteam has been providing life-saving emergency services to Lincoln and seven surrounding counties from the Danville-Boyle County Airport’s Stuart Powell Field. Their lifesaving services are essential. The local base serves Lincoln County, as well as Boyle, Casey, Mercer, Garrard, Washington, Anderson and Rockcastle counties.
Air Evac is a service provider that transports patients with life- or limb-threatening injuries or illnesses to receive medical care. When a call comes in, the pilot on duty determines if transport is safe based upon weather conditions, and if everything is safe, a crew can be off the ground and on the way to provide help within seven minutes.
“We offer emergency and critical care air medical transportation services. In addition to picking up patients at emergency scenes, we transport critical care hospital patients who require specialized care beyond what their current facility can provide,” said Stacy Ogle, Air Evac Lifeteam Base Clinical Lead-Flight Nurse.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, many things have changed for the staff and crew, according to Ogle. COVID-19 has had an impact on the services offered, but it has not stopped the essential function of helping those in dire need.
“Like all frontline healthcare providers, COVID-19 has impacted our daily activities. All crew members undergo daily COVID screenings and temperature checks upon arrival for their shift via the Global Medical Response SafeRestart Program,” Ogle said. “We now wear full PPE on every flight and complete full decontamination of our aircraft and equipment after every transport.”
Ogle said Air Evac now uses more disposable supplies, such as blankets, to decrease the possibility of spreading the virus.
“We place masks on our patients when medically appropriate,” Ogle said. “We also use specialized viral filters for those requiring mechanical ventilation.”
Ogle said Air Evac hasn’t seen a significant change in call volume due to COVID-19, but she said there also have not been any changes to the services they are able to provide.
“We do experience a delay in returning to service after a flight for a known-positive COVID-19 patient. This delay is to allow for comprehensive decontamination of the equipment and aircraft. However, one of the strengths of our company is that we have a significant coverage area. Bases in our region, including other Air Evac Lifeteam aircraft, can provide service to our community while we undergo the decontamination process,” she said.
Air Evac Lifeteam is part of Global Medical Response (GMR), an industry-leading medical transportation company with both air and ground resources. Air Evac Lifeteam operates more than 140 helicopter air ambulance bases across 15 states. Flight crews, consisting of a pilot, flight nurse, and flight paramedic, are on duty seven days a week to respond to the scene of an emergency or provide transportation between medical facilities.
Air Evac Lifeteam is also a participating provider in the AirMedCare Network (AMCN), the nation’s largest air medical transport membership program with more than 320 air medical locations across 38 states. Members flown for life- or limb-threatening injury or illness by an AMCN participating provider have no out-of-pocket costs for the flight. Whatever the member’s insurance – or third-party insurance – pays is considered payment in full. Annual memberships start at $65.