Clarinda Regional Health Center (CRHC), Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines and Air Methods/LifeNet have partnered to base southwest Iowa's only air ambulance at Clarinda Regional Health Center. The Clarinda-based air ambulance will serve an initial area within a 40-mile radius of Clarinda and will have the ability to transport patients to medical centers in Omaha, Lincoln, Des Moines, and St. Joseph, Mo. The Bell 407 helicopter will have the ability to service air ambulance calls in southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri.
The air ambulance will operate 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. Mercy-Des Moines will staff the air ambulance's medical crew, and will be hiring 11 new flight paramedics and flight nurses who will be based in Clarinda. Air methods will hire four pilots and a mechanic to operate this new service.
"We are excited to bring this level of service to our area," says Chris Stipe, CRHC CEO. "When minutes matter for cardiac events, brain injuries or other traumatic medical emergencies, our area of the state will now have the benefit of a regionally-based air ambulance. This means southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri residents can expect an even quicker medical transfer to an urban medical center when speciailized care is needed. We couldn't be more pleased with our partnership with Mercy and Air Methods."
Mercy Director of Emergecy Transport Services, Dan Keough, says they are pleased to be a part of this partnership to better serve southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri. "Our Mercy One air ambulance program has been very successful in terms of fast response times. Although southwest Iowans and northwest Missourians are used to wonderful helicopter response from Air Methods/LifeNet services based in urban centers, this regional service will dramatically decrease the response time to local hospitals. We are pleased to be able to expand our resources to this area of the state to enhance existing critical care air transport services by having a team closer to the patient."
"From our perspective, a Clarinda-based flight program is a win-win for patients and for area hospitals who already utilize our services," state Air Methods' Senior Vice President, Ed Rupert. "Clarinda is geographically located between Omaha, Des Moines and St. Joseph, Mo, so from a flight time scenario we felt there was an opportunity to serve this region better."
The new flight program based in Clarinda is slated to begin service in September 2012.
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