A community partnership began recently in South Carolina between Med-Trans Corporation and Colleton County Fire Rescue to form the recently launched CARE Flight program on June 15th, 2017. The hybrid partnership between Med-Trans and Colleton County Fire Rescue is a first in the state of South Carolina and is different from conventional HEMS programs across the nation. With this partnership, Med-Trans is responsible for providing the aircraft, pilots, flight nurses, and a mechanic, while Colleton County Fire Rescue is responsible for providing paramedics. This partnership is noted in the helicopter’s bold paint scheme which includes a winged Maltese Cross, the symbol for firefighters, with a Star of Life centered inside.
The layout of Colleton County provides responders with several challenges and this program is already making leaps and bounds to address in the short time since it has been established. A majority of the 1,100 square mile county is considered rural with a population of only 38,000 people. In comparison, neighboring Orangeburg and Charleston counties have a population of 90,000 and 350,000 people respectively, and are nearly the exact same size with respect to square miles or smaller.
Due to the distance from many medical and trauma emergencies to the nearest appropriate medical facility, air based transportation had been utilized heavily in Colleton County, and that has been credited with saving many lives. In many cases, a critical patient doesn’t have the time required for ground-based transport.
A Program Is Born
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