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New MedFlight base expands emergency transport services


When every minute counts, Hamilton residents and patients of Fort Hamilton Hospital now have fast access to critical emergency care, thanks to a new MedFlight medical helicopter and base at Preble County Medical Center in Eaton.

“As part of our ongoing assessment of patient transportation solutions, we recognized the need to expand our partnership with MedFlight, to provide an aircraft in Preble County and better serve the people in our southwest Ohio region,” said Bill Mangas, director of prehospital care for Kettering Health Network. “Patients needing to be moved from one medical facility to another medical facility can end up waiting a long time.”

“With a helicopter, the patient's transport time can be reduced by half, even more,” explained Marla Werner, western regional director for MedFlight of Ohio. “This is of great benefit if the patient has life-threatening injuries or illnesses. Treatment can be received within an hour, if not less, from when the injuries occurred, or the symptoms first presented themselves.” 

According to Werner, the average transport time from the patient's original location to the receiving hospital is often less than 20 minutes.

Partnerships with patients in mind

Kettering Health Network first partnered with MedFlight, a nonprofit air and ground critical care transportation company, back in 2013.

“We were looking for a way to expand our means of transporting patients from one hospital to another, especially in critical situations where time is of the essence,” said Mangas.

Fast-forward to today, and that partnership now includes three helicopters which routinely serve Kettering Health Network in Union, Fayette and Preble counties, as well as six additional helicopters across the state. Patients can be transported between Kettering Health Network facilities, including Fort Hamilton Hospital.

In July of 2016, Kettering Health Network partnered with Buckeye Ambulance to form Kettering Mobile Care, one of the largest hospital-based transportation services, consisting of 27 vehicles. This, combined with the services of MedFlight, allows Kettering Health Network to provide comprehensive air and ground transportation to residents in all of the network’s 16-county service area.

MedFlight is there when minutes matter

In addition to bringing a life-saving service to the region, MedFlight’s permanent base at Preble County Medical Center brought jobs, as the base is staffed with pilots, mechanics, critical-care nurses and paramedics.

“Our teams are equipped to serve any critical care transport need, at any time, with ICU- and CCU-level equipment and expertise on-board for every patient transport,” said Werner. “MedFlight teams also work with local fire and EMS departments and respond directly to the scene when requested by the first responders on scene.”

Each MedFlight transport is supervised by a specialty-trained Medical Control Physician (MCP) who is immediately available to the crew to provide input regarding the care of the patient.  

Said Mangas, “We are proud that the expanded partnership between Kettering Health Network and MedFlight has enabled us to meet the needs of our patients and brings life-saving service to the people of southwest Ohio.”

Click here for more information on the partnership between Kettering Health Network and MedFlight.