Mercy Air, a division of Air Methods, has opened Mercy Air 66, providing air medical services to the Barstow community in San Bernardino County, California. The base will be located at the former site of the Barstow Community Hospital at 555 S 7th Street, and is designed to result in quicker response times for emergency and trauma situations.
Mercy Air 66, along with all air medical services, provides essential and lifesaving services throughout the country. Medical teams perform lifesaving interventions including trauma care after an accident, and administer clot-busting medications shortly after a major stroke to improve outcomes.
Local community and hospital leaders recognised the growing need for an air medical service that would be able to serve the Barstow area more rapidly and worked with the Mercy Air team to that end.
“Having Mercy Air located at the former hospital across the street from the current facility will be an asset to emergency care for our community members,” states Barstow Community Hospital emergency department director Leo Eusebio. “There are times when we need to stabilise a patient at Barstow and transfer them to a higher level of care. In these life-saving situations, minutes count. Having Mercy Air's emergency air ambulance basically on site could mean the difference between life and death.”
Air Methods area manager Jason Johnston adds: “We understand that ongoing changes in healthcare are affecting access for patients. Our goal is to make sure life-saving care is available at a moment's notice. With this new base, we are supporting the Barstow community and providing patients and residents with the peace of mind that we are here when they need us the most.”
Mercy Air 66 will provide air medical services all year round to Barstow and surrounding communities, using a Bell 407. Its base will be staffed by 14 crew members, including pilots, flight nurses, flight paramedics and mechanics. Its location immediately across from the current Barstow Hospital will ensure patients have quick access to the full medical services after initial transport.