MedStat to expand helicopter emergency medical service program in area

From press reports

MedStat EMS, Inc. announces the expansion of its Helicopter Emergency
Medical Services (HEMS) operation in an effort to improve access to
care for victims of traumatic injuries and critical illnesses in the
Golden Triangle Region of the east central Mississippi. Company
officials announced the opening of their newest medical helicopter
base at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport.

MedState EMS, with its corporate headquarters located in Winona, MS,
presently has a medical helicopter based in Winona, MS and serves as
the primary 911-ambulance provider for 15 Counties in central and
north Mississippi. MedStat staffs the helicopter with a critical care
team consisting of a nurse and paramedic who will use advanced
medical equipment and procedures beyond what is typically provided on
paramedic level ambulances.

MedStat EMS CEO Barry Eskridge emphasized that this service fills a
void in east central Mississippi as well as provide increased
availability for MedStat’s HEMS program. “Prior to the establishment
of our base at GTR, the region’s closest HEMS helicopter was over 50
miles away. Citizens of the Golden Triangle region now have immediate
access to the life saving expert medical care and increased speed of
transportation a HEMS unit offers.”

Company officials state the program expansion will benefit a wide
variety of patient types. Patients suffering from significant trauma,
heart attacks, strokes and critical medical problems will benefit
from the service. Rapid and direct transportation to trauma center,
heart catheterization lab, stroke center, or a facility that provides
advanced medical care is proven to provide substantially better
outcomes for patients. With the helicopter based at a central
location and by closely integrating the activation of the helicopter
with local ambulance services and healthcare facilities. Patients
will have rapid access to the major trauma centers and tertiary care
hospitals substantially faster than if transported by ground
ambulance or by having to wait for an aircraft them out of the area
to facilitate the transport.

The expansion also provides logistical benefits for MedStat’s
existing HEMS program. “By having another helicopter located just 60
miles from our existing Winona base, the units can provide backup
coverage for each other in the event one aircraft is busy or if there
is a multi-casualty scene,” Eskridge said.

Both helicopters to be used were built at the American Eurocopter
facility located at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport. Widely used
in HEMS transport programs across the country, the Eurocopter AS350-
B2 is well known for its mechanical reliability, performance and
safety record. The Helicopter based at GTR will be equipped with
advanced avionics to include terrain avoidance technology, air
traffic collision avoidance technology, autopilot, radar altimeter,
satellite tracking and monitoring through MedStat’s control center as
well as night vision goggles for the pilot and medical crew members.
The helicopter has a range of over 300 miles and has a cruising speed
of 133 knots (153mph).

The aircraft based at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport will
respond to request for service from local EMS agencies and hospitals
within a 75-mile radius of GTR and will provide support for our
ground ambulance operations in Monroe County.