Evergreen acquires LifeFlight service
Published 3:50 pm Monday, April 3, 2006
Baptist Hospital's LifeFlight program is expanding its services to include a third helicopter that will be based in Evergreen, and will serve the entire South Central Alabama area.
The expansion is expected to take effect May 1 and will provide air ambulance coverage to an area with a documented need for such services.
The plan has the support of officials with Conecuh County emergency medical services and hospitals in the area.
This is the second expansion in two years for Baptist LifeFlight.
In March 2004, LifeFlight assumed coverage of the Mobile area after University of South Alabama Medical Center announced it was discontinuing its air ambulance program.
As with LifeFlight 1 in Pensacola and LifeFlight 2 in Mobile, the Evergreen-based helicopter will be provided by C.J. Systems Aviation, one of the nation's leading providers of emergency medical aircrafts.
LifeFlight 3 will be a BK 117 twin-engine helicopter capable of transporting up to two patients at a time.
Patients from Conecuh County and the South Central Alabama area will be transported to hospitals in Mobile, Montgomery, Dothan and Pensacola as directed by emergency medical services, hospital staffs and established guidelines.
LifeFlight 3 will be stationed at Middleton Field airport, which is located two miles west of Interstate 65.
The communications center located at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola will serve all three helicopters, which will provide back-up for one another, allowing the LifeFlight transport system to better serve the needs of the entire area and ensuring that all of the region's air medical needs will be met.
LifeFlight director Kevin Stanhope said he anticipates 500 flights for LifeFlight 3 in its first year of operation.
The helicopter, which has an operating budget of $1.8 million, will create as many as 20 jobs for the Evergreen area.
When it began operation in 1977, Baptist LifeFlight became the country's third hospital-based helicopter program.
It is No.1 for customer service on the nationwide Press, Ganey survey of air ambulance programs.
Last year LifeFlight safely transported more than 1,800 patients to hospitals throughout the area.