It has been a busy year since AirLift 5 Texas took flight on 1 June 2022, bringing emergency air medical service to the Rio Grande Valley. The new base has proven to be a valuable asset to the area, providing faster access to emergency care in trauma situations and interfacility transport for patients needing specialised care. AirLift 5 is part of Air Methods, the leading air medical service provider in the USA.
“Over the last year, we have seen firsthand how critical it is to have this asset in our communities,” says Willacy County EMS assistant director Gil Torres. “For people living in rural communities, getting to a hospital during an emergency, even by ambulance, can sometimes take too long because of how remote these areas are in the Valley. The speed with which AirLift 5 can transport patients by air and the critical care they're able to provide in flight often means the difference between life and death for the patients we transport so we're very grateful to know we can count on them.”
The highly skilled AirLift 5 crew uses its EC130 helicopter to respond 24 hours a day to emergency medical calls for heart attacks, strokes, paediatric emergencies and other traumatic incidents, as well as critical interfacility transport. The industry-leading clinicians carry blood on board the aircraft and can administer it in-flight to patients suffering from significant blood loss and at risk for life-threatening haemorrhagic shock.
“As we celebrate the one year anniversary of our partnership with AirLift 5, we reflect on the countless lives touched and positively impacted by its remarkable service,” notes director of emergency medical services at DHR Health Daniel Tuttle. “Its unwavering dedication and professionalism in aiding critical patient transport have bolstered our mission at DHR Health. AirLift 5 has been instrumental in enhancing our capacity to deliver urgent, quality care to the people of the Rio Grande Valley. Its service, much like a reliable helicopter, has been a beacon of hope in the most challenging situations. We value this partnership and eagerly anticipate the continued journey of delivering superior healthcare together.”
The AirLift 5 crew members are Valley natives, and many are bilingual too, allowing them to better connect with the patients they serve. The clinicians also have extensive years of experience in the field and receive advanced, ongoing training that allows them to operate at the top of their licensure. Placing a value on education and teamwork, they also offer training classes for their partners with EMS, fire and sheriff's departments, including landing zone classes on how to safely work around the helicopter in order to expedite care to their patients.
“We thank all of our partners across the Rio Grande Valley for welcoming AirLift 5 with open arms and collaborating with us to ensure we are providing every patient we transport with the highest level of care,” says AirLift 5 area manager/account executive David Lopez. “We look forward to continuing serving the Valley for many years to come and adding a fixed wing to our base soon that will allow us to transport even more patients and to further distances such as San Antonio and Houston for specialty care.”
Valley residents can rest easy knowing that AirLift 5 Texas provides exceptional critical care while Air Methods makes sure it is affordable. It is in-network with most major health insurance providers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare and more. In addition, its patient advocacy programme works with all patients, regardless of insurance, to ensure affordability.