The community is invited to come and check out the new Eagle Air Med Helicopter on Tuesday afternoon from 11-2 p.m. at Castleview Hospital’s Helipad. Eagle Air Med began operations in Price last week, bringing state-of-the-art medical air transport operations to the area.
The helicopter and crew will be based in Price. Each shift will have a pilot, flight nurse and paramedic and the helicopter is outfitted with the same medical equipment as a trauma room.
The current helipad will be improved over the next several years with a larger footprint and fencing to make the area more secure. The crew wants to remind people that it is a federal offense to tamper with the aircraft or crew. But it also wants to let people know if the crew is out by the helicopter that it welcome visitors and will show people the helicopter at any time.
Currently, the helicopter is at the hospital during the day and at the Carbon County Airport at night. It takes about two minutes for the flight between the two locations. The crew on shift is housed in a six-bedroom home behind the hospital. Its gear is loaded in its van, and ready at a moment’s notice. It takes 90 seconds to be at the helicopter.
When the crew first comes on shift it does a pre-flight check of the aircraft. The mechanic does a complete inspection and check daily to ensure the chopper is always in top shape.
“This is a tool for the community,” said Air Med pilot Gerry Fordham. “We want to be a part of this community and if transport is needed we are not going to turn anyone down, even if they don’t have insurance nor are not sure how they are going to pay for it.”
If it is called by the hospital, the crew will head to the facility and meet with the nurse to obtain the complete chart. The crew will also meet the patient and prepare he or she for transport. They all can be in the air in less than a half hour if conditions are right.
Eventually, the team is look to bring aviation fuel to the helicopter instead of flying to the airport. This can save considerable wear and tear on the machine. It can take over 50,000 volts to begin movement of the rotors.
In July, Eagle Air Med will finish training needed to begin night flights in the surrounding terrain.
Castleview Hospital released the following press release regarding the event:
Eagle Air Med Begins Emergency Helicopter Service in Price Price, Utah –
Beginning Monday, June 10th, travelers on Highway 6 noticed a brand new helicopter proudly positioned on the helipad at Castleview Hospital. The helicopter is operated by Eagle Air Med and will provide the city of Price and the surrounding area with an added resource for emergency response and quick patient transportation. The aircraft will be capable of assisting local first-responders, EMS, fire, and law-enforcement by responding to motor vehicle accidents, industry related injuries, and any other scene response needs as well as helipad-to-helipad patient transportation. The capabilities of this helicopter are a perfect fit for the altitude and terrain of the region. The same model of aircraft achieved a world record when a standard production helicopter landed on the top of Mount Everest in 2005. Eagle Air Med is excited to begin responding to emergency needs and transporting patients from Price as well as Central and Eastern Utah. “The B3e is a reliable and safe aircraft and we have taken our time in hiring and training the very best flight personnel for this program,” said Mike Brown, Eagle Air Med’s Program Director. PARAGRAPHS BY HOSPITAL “We have worked hard for the last couple years to evaluate and find a partner to provide these services for the hospital and the community as a whole,” said Castleview Hospital CEO, Mark Holyoak. “The purpose of having full-time air transport services available is another way in which we meet our mission of “Making Our Community Healthier”. “ With Eagle Air now based here on our helipad, we will be able to eliminate the response time when the service is necessary. This will come in as a significant benefit especially with multiple trauma cases, acute stroke, and acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) patients when time savings is critical. I look forward to this being a successful partnership for many years to come.” “I have been impressed with Eagle Air”, said Holyoak, “as they have strived to hire staff that have local ties so that we can build a partnership relationship with them that will benefit the patients. They have also done a great job “shopping locally” with the purchase and furnishings of their new home for the staff which is located just over a minute from the helipad.” “An Open House will be held this upcoming Wednesday, June 19 for the community. Please pass the word to your neighbors and friends that this is a great time for them to come and see, sit in, and learn about the medical air services as well as to grab a bite to eat while they are visiting.” Contact: Castleview Hospital at 435-637-4800 for questions.