KANSAS - A helicopter medical evacuation company officially took off Thursday at Salina Regional Airport.
As reported by Salina.com, “We’re like a family,” Markley said. “You definitely become very close with your crew.”
The critical care air transport company, which has bases across the state, has already had a presence in the city, bringing patients to Salina Regional Health Center, but chief operating officer Melissa Knott said bringing a base to the north-central region of Kansas was important.
“We looked at probably 10 different places in the region and Salina checked all the boxes,” Knott said.
Tim Rogers, executive director of the Salina Airport Authority, said having the helicopter in the hangar there made him think of images of “M*A*S*H” and of medical evacuations during Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Start thinking today of civilian use of aero-medical evacuation,” Rogers said.
Rogers said there are many types of incidents that this kind of assistance can be used for, from helping a hunter who has an accident in western Kansas to getting across a metro area quickly after a vehicle crash.
“In rural Kansas it’s the distance that can literally be a killer,” Rogers said. “Here we have a provider of vital service to Salina, to Saline County and to north-central Kansas that hits the golden hour and addresses the need.”
During the ceremony, CEO and medical director for LifeSave Dr. Martin Sellberg said the company has been interested in the region for a while.
“This was a terrific location with us,” Sellberg said. “In addition to the fact that it’s a wonderful host town and host facility, (there’s) an icon of medical care with the trauma center and regional medical center you have here and a superb 911 service as well.”
The base will be in operation around the clock. Base manager and flight nurse Cassie Markley said staff work at least 10 24-hour shifts each month. Because they are working together for such long shifts, Markley said, the crew is a tight-knit group.
“We’re like a family,” Markley said. “You definitely become very close with your crew.”
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