Flight for Life


Flight for Life

Flight for Life is a prehospital care service with many bases of operation across the United States. Flight for Life is primarily known for its emergency medical helicopter transport, but also operates a fleet of land vehicles and fixed wing aircraft for the transport of critically ill patients to specialized medical care. Emergency medical transport via helicopter is an extremely valuable resource for victims of any serious medical condition. Helicopter transport is normally reserved for the most critically injured patients or patients who cannot be reached by traditional means of EMS. Helicopter transport is also especially useful for the transport of critically wounded patients to specialty medical facilities, such as burn, pediatric, or advanced trauma centers, that may be further away from the location of injury. Many rural communities rely on the speed of the helicopter to reach and evacuate their most serious patients to an available medical center. The helicopter may also be used for search and rescue operations in conjunction with ground units or alone.

History

Flight For Life began in 1972 with a single Alouette III helicopter, based at St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver, Colorado. It was the first civilian, hospital-based medical helicopter program in the U.S. From its humble beginnings, it has grown to be a regional program responding to nine states.

On June 1, 2004, St. Anthony Flight For Life and Penrose-St. Francis Flight For Life in Colorado Springs, Colorado consolidated under a single administrative structure based at St. Anthony Hospital and became Flight For Life Colorado. The following November, operations expanded to Pueblo, Colorado with a fourth helicopter.

Training

The Flight For Life organization comprises many teams. These teams are made up of Nurses, Paramedics, EMT-Bs, Respiratory therapists, Pilots, and Mechanics.

Traditionally the helicopter is staffed by a flight crew composed of an experienced pilot, critical care nurse, and critical care paramedic. If advanced knowledge of the patients condition is known before takeoff, the crew may also include a respiratory therapist, medical doctor or other specialized medical personnel.

Because of the training and medical equipment available on the helicopter a higher level of care can normally be provided by the crew on the scene of the accident and in-transit to an appropriate medical facility. The flight nurse and paramedic can usually perform more advanced acts and procedure needed for critical patients than the traditional Paramedic on-scene. This includes the placement and monitoring of chest-tubes, certain surgical procedures, an aortic balloon-pump and all of the acts allowed by EMTs and Paramedics.

The pilot’s chief responsibility is the safe operation of the aircraft. All decisions regarding “go or no go” are strictly his. All helicopter operations are under “visual flight rules” (VFR), so weather factors will significantly affect a pilot’s decision.

Equipment

The helicopter and fixed wing aircraft include specialized medical equipment used in an intensive care unit and emergency department.

Currently Flight for Life Colorado operates four distinctively painted orange Eurocopter Ecureuil AS 350 “AStar” helicopters. Chosen for its high altitude capability and economy of operation, the AStar is a perfect fit for Colorado’s mountain communities and terrain. The helicopters are based at St. Anthony North in Westminster (“Lifeguard One”), Summit Medical Center in Frisco (“Lifeguard Two”), Penrose-St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs (Lifeguard Three), and St. Mary- Corwin Medical Center (Lifeguard 4). Lifeguard One, Three, and Four are in service twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; Lifeguard Two is in service from eight o’clock in the morning until seven o’clock in the evening. They have a service radius of approximately one hundred twenty miles (32 km) from their bases. All helicopters are leased from Air Methods Corporation in Englewood, Colorado. Pilots and mechanics are employees of Air Methods Corp.

When the transport is beyond the range of the helicopter, or when weather precludes flight to a location, a fixed-wing aircraft is called into service. Flight For Life contracts with Mayo Aviation at Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colorado for a dedicated Beechcraft Super King Air 200. This pressurized, twin turboprop aircraft is capable of instrument flight (IFR) at a speed of convert|265|nmi|km|0 per hour (knots), and is used for flights of up to approximately convert|800|mi|km|-1 round trip distance. The pilots are all proficient in multi-engine and instrument flight. Outfitted in a dedicated air medical configuration, the KingAir is capable of transporting any combination of two adult patients, one adult and an isolette, or two isolettes. On most flights, at least one family member is also able to fly along. The bases in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Colorado do not have dedicated fixed-wing aircraft. When the weather makes helicopter flight impossible, the aircraft from Mayo Aviation may be sent to them to help move a critical patient. For trips beyond the KingAir’s range, Flight For Life Colorado uses a Learjet 35. This aircraft is capable of speeds of convert|440|kn|km/h|0.

External links

Flight for Life Colorado, [http://www.flightforlifecolorado.org/index.php?s=5]

ources

"Flight for Life Colorado." January 4, 2007. .

Resources


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flight for Life (UK) — Flight For Life is a UK based fund rising organization whose main beneficiaries are cancer related charities.Primarily based around 4 people Les Field, Dave Blofeld, Tony Parr Jacqui Parker, The Flight For Life team raised over £30,000 in… …   Wikipedia

  • Flight For Life (Valley Hospital) — Infobox Company company name = Flight For Life company company type = Air Ambulance foundation = 1980 December 9, 2001 location = Las Vegas, Nevada industry = EMS homepage = [http://web.archive.org/web/20010925143356/http://flightforlife.com/… …   Wikipedia

  • Life — For other uses, see Life (disambiguation). Life (Biota / Vitae / Eobionti) …   Wikipedia

  • Life on Mars — For other uses, see Life on Mars (disambiguation). An artist s impression of what Mars surface and atmosphere may look like if Mars were terraformed. Scientists have long speculated about the possibility of life on Mars owing to the planet s… …   Wikipedia

  • Life Sciences — ▪ 2009 Introduction Zoology       In 2008 several zoological studies provided new insights into how species life history traits (such as the timing of reproduction or the length of life of adult individuals) are derived in part as responses to… …   Universalium

  • Life Flight — Memorial Hermann Life Flight is an air medical transport service based in Houston, Texas. It was founded in 1976. Service began on August 1st of that year as the second helicopter air medical program in the United States of America. The founder,… …   Wikipedia

  • Life-critical system — A life critical system or safety critical system is a system whose failure or malfunction may result in: death or serious injury to people, or loss or severe damage to equipment or environmental harm. Risks of this sort are usually managed with… …   Wikipedia

  • Flight of the Conchords (TV series) — Flight of the Conchords Genre Musical Comedy Created by James Bobin Jemaine Clement Bre …   Wikipedia

  • Flight attendant — Flight attendants or cabin crew (historically known as stewards, air hosts/hostesses, or stewardesses) are members of an aircrew employed by airlines to ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers aboard commercial flights as well as on… …   Wikipedia

  • Flight into Egypt — For other uses, see Flight into Egypt (disambiguation). The Flight into Egypt by Giotto di Bondone (1304 06, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua). The flight into Egypt is a biblical event described in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:13 …   Wikipedia