Air Methods Big Bear Base Celebrates One Year in Service

Air Methods Big Bear Base Celebrates One Year in Service 14 Mar, 19, Source: Air Methods

Mercy Air, a division of Air Methods, announced that its base at the Big Bear City Airport served 334 patients, including 23 children, on 347 transports during the first full year of permanent operation—the equivalent of caring for nearly one patient per day.
Mercy Air, a division of Air Methods, announced that its base at the Big Bear City Airport served 334 patients, including 23 children, on 347 transports during the first full year of permanent operation—the equivalent of caring for nearly one patient per day.
In a public partnership with the Big Bear Fire Department and the Bear Valley Healthcare District, Mercy Air serves the mountain communities of San Bernardino County and the surrounding areas. In its first year, Mercy’s state-of-the-art helicopter, a Bell 407GXP equipped with night vision goggles, autopilot, terrain avoidance and weather overlay, responded to 97 rescue scenes and performed 249 transports from a hospital to a specialized medical facility. The average response time was less than 12 minutes to a scene and less than 16 minutes for transports between medical facilities. In total, Mercy Air Big Bear crews spent 311 hours in the air in just one year.

“We are extremely proud of our Big Bear crew’s performance in our first year,” said Air Methods Area Manager Jason Johnston. “The demand for air medical services in this area has exceeded our expectations, but our team rose to the challenge and safely and effectively delivered care and transport to hundreds of residents of the San Bernardino mountain communities. We have set a high mark that we hope to improve on in our second year.”

Trauma calls were the most frequent reason for air medical services, accounting for 100 transports in the first year. Other reasons for calls were for neurological conditions (73), general medical (68), cardiac (49), pulmonary (23) and transport for specialized surgery (12).

Air medical services provide essential and lifesaving services throughout the country. During missions, highly trained medical teams care for patients with lifesaving interventions, from providing trauma care after an accident to administering clot-busting medications that must be given shortly after a major stroke to significantly improve outcomes. With the continued consolidation of hospitals and the trend towards centers with specialized heart or neurological care, the clinical support and speed of missions are critical to giving patients the best possible outcomes.

The Big Bear base’s one-year anniversary follows just days after the opening of Mercy Air 66, a new base that will provide air medical services to the nearby Barstow community. The new base is at the former site of the Barstow Community Hospital and is resulting in quicker response times for emergent and trauma situations.

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