Medflight celebrates 30th year of service
The Baptist Health program is celebrating their 30th anniversary. A program that started back in May of 1984 has changed the way Arkansas looks at health care for the better. Some of the staff has been on the top floor of the ER near the landing pad since it all started. "But back then we would use an old Huey helicopter from the air force base." Said flight nurse Pat Humm, "We would only fly for trauma patients. In the month of April, the 1.2 million dollar helicopter made 42 flights, including some for the deadly tornado that hit Faulkner County. On a clear April day, Medflight spent a brief part of their morning intercepting a patient who was suffering from a major heart condition in Carlisle. The chopper caught up with the ambulance, turning a 40 minute drive into a 15 minute flight. Later that afternoon, Medflight joined the Air force base for an exercise. Medflight was called to retrieve a victim who had fallen off of a building. Once the chopper landed, Medflight administered an IV on the patient, moved him onto the stretcher, then buckled him into the bird. The whole operation took under 20 minutes. For most of the staff, the procedures are muscle memory. "It's not the helicopter, it's the people you work with who are providing the care and the pilots." Said Humm. "Those are the people who make the Medflights, not the helicopter, that's our speed."