24-May-2019 Source: Air Methods
Mercy Air, a division of Air Methods, will host a dedication ceremony and reception on Friday, May 17 at 1:00 p.m. PST. The ceremony will celebrate the new Mercy Air 66 base, a collaboration between Barstow Fire Protection District and Mercy Air. In addition, the event will honor Mercy Air’s 30th anniversary of life-saving service in the Southern California region.
Expanding Service to Residents of Barstow and San Bernardino County
Earlier this year, Mercy Air opened the new Mercy Air 66 base to provide expanded medical services to the Barstow community. The new base is located at the former site of the Barstow Community Hospital at 555 S 7th Street, and will result in quicker response times for emergent and trauma situations.
Mercy Air 66 will provide essential and lifesaving services to the Barstow community and beyond. 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 is critical to giving patients the best possible outcomes.
Local community and hospital leaders recognized the growing need for an air medical service that would be able to serve the Barstow area more rapidly and worked closely with the Mercy Air team to establish this new base.
Mercy Air 66 will provide air medical services 24/7/365 to Barstow and surrounding communities. The Mercy Air base will be staffed by 14 crew members, including pilots, flight nurses, flight paramedics and mechanics, and it will operate a Bell 407 air medical helicopter. Its location immediately across from the current Barstow Hospital will ensure patients have quick access to the full medical services available at the Barstow Community Hospital. If a higher level of care is required, Mercy Air 66 is capable of quickly transporting patients to the appropriate facilities by air.
Honoring the Mercy Air legacy
Mercy Air has been committed to the Southern California and Nevada region for more than 30 years. Established in 1989, the organization is a full-service air medical transport provider and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS).
Over the last three decades the organization has acquired or merged with other programs to service the region. These include LifeFlight-Long Beach, LifeFlight-San Diego, and Flight for Life in Las Vegas. In 1995, Mercy Air was acquired by Air Methods, and has since opened bases in Clark County, Nevada as well as California bases in Mojave, Twentynine Palms and Hesperia. In 2018, the company opened an additional base in Big Bear, California.
“The demand for air medical services will only continue to increase in the coming decades as we continue to see consolidation in the healthcare market,” said Air Methods Area Manager Jason Johnston. “Our commitment to the region is not just through adding new bases, but by ensuring that we work collectively with local officials, fire departments and hospitals to make sure that our services are effective and efficient for the community. We are looking forward to many more decades in the Southern California and Nevada region.”