Air Evac Lifeteam, the largest independently-owned and operated air ambulance service in the United States, began operations in Eastland this morning (Thursday 8/22). The base will provide on-the-scene medical care and rapid medical transport, as well as transfers between medical facilities to the region, and will provide employment for 12 to 15 individuals. It will serve communities and hospitals within a 70-mile radius of Eastland.
An Air Evac Lifeteam crew, which includes a registered nurse, paramedic and pilot, is on call at each base 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Crew members are trained in advanced pre-hospital care, allowing them to provide medical care at the scene and continue that care en route to the hospital. This same training also allows for critical care hospital-to-hospital transfers. The Bell 206 LongRanger helicopter will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including the use of Night Vision Goggles (NVGs). NVGs are particularly useful on nights with little illumination in identifying emergency scene landing zones in difficult terrain, such as mountains and hills, by raising night-time vision to 20/20.
Air Evac Lifeteam President Seth Myers said the company is excited about this opportunity to increase the company’s coverage area in central Texas.
“We’ve already been serving these communities from our other bases in Abilene, Brownwood, Mineral Wells and Granbury,” Myers said. “Having a helicopter located in Eastland will increase our ability to get patients to the medical care they need quickly. The speed at which a patient can receive appropriate medical treatment can have a direct impact on the patient’s chances of survival and degree of recovery.”
“The Eastland base is a great addition to the already quality health services available in this area,” Myers said. “We would like to commend Eastland Economic Development and Eastland Memorial Hospital for recognizing the benefit our service will be to their patients, and we look forward to working with them.”
Air Evac Lifeteam is one of the first air ambulance services in the country to offer a membership program. Members pay an annual fee and, if they are flown by Air Evac, they do not have to pay for the flight. Memberships are valid throughout Air Evac Lifeteam service areas, so members are covered while traveling through Air Evac Lifeteam service areas. Annual memberships are $65 per household.
For more information about Air Evac Lifeteam services or employment opportunities, visit www.lifeteam.net.