Guardian Flight and Air Evac Lifeteam, both part of the Global Medical Response (GMR) family of companies, have opened an emergency air medical transport base at Idabel in southeast Oklahoma, the first GMR-operated fixed wing in the state. The base features a King Air 90 aircraft that will be operated and maintained by a Guardian Flight pilot and aviation maintenance technician and staffed with a clinical team comprised of an Air Evac Lifeteam nurse and paramedic. It can transport patients longer distances at higher speeds when helicopters are unavailable, and the crew is available 24 hours a day for time-critical emergency responses.
“The McCurtain County Air Evac Lifeteam fixed wing crew is licensed in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Kansas and Iowa,” says senior programme director Justin Kinkade. “This is a regional asset that gives us another safe option and some increased capabilities when other aircraft may be grounded. The crew can transport infants, paediatric patients and adults, and it is large enough to be able to take a family member with the patient.”
The McCurtain County aircraft and crew are housed at McCurtain County Regional airport.
“We are thankful for our partners in this endeavour, including Guardian Flight, our surrounding Air Evac bases, the McCurtain County Regional airport, McCurtain County EMS and McCurtain Memorial Hospital,” he adds. “And we are proud to bring more jobs to the area. The new base will have four full time pilots, four full time nurses, four full time paramedics and a full time aviation maintenance technician.”
Guardian Flight also plans to open another emergency air medical transport base in Winner, South Dakota, in early 2022, for 24/7 air medical transport services to the communities of Tripp County and the surrounding regions.
“The opening of our Winner base is another reminder of Guardian Flight's continued mission to provide care to the world at a moment's notice,” says regional director Robert Miller. “We look forward to strengthening our service in South Dakota and Tripp County by providing another vital air medical resource to the community and providing local hospitals and EMS agencies with a dependable partner in patient care.”
The Winner base will be staffed by pilots, flight nurses and flight paramedics. The aircraft, a Pilatus PC-12, will also be maintained by on-site aviation maintenance technicians and is medically configured with the latest avionics and safety features.
“Having an aircraft based in Winner will save valuable time to transport critical care patients to a facility that offers services not available in our rural healthcare setting,” adds Winner Regional Health utilisation review and discharge coordinator Julie Hennebold. “Transfer time for these patients is of the essence.”