4-Feb-2021 Source: Premier Health’s CareFlight Air and Mobile Services
Premier Health’s CareFlight Air and Mobile Services is launching a new app that will allow first responders at the scenes of emergencies to electronically request a helicopter for patient transport. Responders will be able to track their flight to the scene in real time.
By using the app, personnel from fire, Emergency Medical Services, dispatchers, and law enforcement agencies will have the ability to communicate through a secure chat function with the CareFlight communications specialist to expedite deployment of the flight.
The app helps mitigate the need for ongoing radio traffic and/or telephone calls to request a helicopter or check on its location. The device will send a GPS location of the emergency/accident directly to the CareFlight Communications Center, allowing the requester to track the helicopter’s flight.
“We are excited to be able to offer the CareFlight app for our prehospital colleagues and dispatch centers. By utilizing the app, we will be collaborating with stakeholders to continue our culture of safety and critical care transport of patients across the region,” said Beth Calcidise, CareFlight director.
The app is another tool for first responders operating within CareFlight’s service area of 150 nautical miles.
Use of the app was introduced in January following testing with area agencies.
CareFlight staff is working with agencies, including emergency dispatch centers, on implementing use of the app and incorporating the technology into local procedures, if desired.
The CareFlight app is a welcome addition for Union City, Ohio, emergency responders, who have a designated landing zone for helicopters. “With a push of the button, we can get help on standby and then activate them (CareFlight),” said Chief Mark Ater, director of public safety and a firefighter/paramedic in Union City.
“It frees our hands up and lets us care for the patients and gets help to us quicker,” Ater said of using the app.
The ability to cut response times is important to Union City emergency responders because of the community’s rural location and distance from hospitals offering trauma and other specialty care, Ater said. “As a rural EMS, we probably use CareFlight more than departments that are closer to hospitals,” he said.
The new flight request app was developed through a collaboration with Flight Vector.