TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Survival Flight has been operating out of Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare for a year now. In that time crews have saved hundreds of patients in the north Florida and South Georgia region.
Trent Robinson, the Base Clinical Manager for Survival Flight 21, said they give lifesaving care to critical patients.
"You know we fly everything from strokes and heart attacks to trauma patients to pediatric patients," Robinson said. "To be able to bring them back here to TMH is a much needed service for this community."
Robinson said they're usually requested by a local EMS agency, and they'll launch from the helipad at TMH. He explains the process from there.
"We'll meet an ambulance somewhere and start assessing that patient in the back of that ambulance. Then we start treating them from that time in the back of the ambulance and then load them into the aircraft. We have critical care nurses and flight paramedics on every crew," Robinson explained.
Kyri Thomas, the executive director for emergency services for TMH, said having the helicopter service in use can help rural communities who don't have the resource to drive patients miles away.
"That can be an hour or so that that community doesn't have an ambulance available to respond to 911 calls in that community," Thomas said. "So not only does it affect the patient that is being flown in, it can affect other patients that are in the community that are then waiting for services from that EMS."
The helicopter ride can save precious time for patients experiencing trauma. Robinson said what would normally be an hour ambulance ride on the ground is cut down to a 20-minute ride to TMH in the helicopter.
"We always say time is of the essence with trauma," Robinson said. "So the time that we can save them from having to be driven in sometimes can mean the difference between life and death."
TMH plans to continue educating surrounding communities about Survival Flight being available for critical medical emergencies.