First responders attend LifeFlight seminar at CCH

Published 8:59 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baptist Hospital LifeFlight from Pensacola conducted a seminar for first responders from around the county at Crenshaw Community Hospital on Tuesday.

Lee Rumbley, outreach coordinator for LifeFlight, was on hand to talk about the service and what firefighters and paramedics need to do in case a helicopter transport is needed.

One of the biggest advantages of using a helicopter is the speed of the transport.

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LifeFlight maintains helicopters in Greenville, Pensacola, Mobile and Hattiesburg, Miss.

“Greenville is about a 10-minute flight from this hospital,” Rumbling said.

That quickness is important for paramedics and doctors during the “Golden Hour.”

“If you can get a person to a hospital within an hour after they are injured, their chances of survival significantly improve,” he said.

Some hospitals are not prepared to handle certain types of trauma, and LifeFlight helps get them to an accepting hospital that can give them proper treatment.

LifeFlight crews are composed of an experienced pilot, a paramedic and a registered nurse.

Much of the meeting was spent discussing protocol for preparing a landing zone, which includes a 100-foot by 100-foot area clear of trees, power lines, radio towers and other obstacles.

LifeFlight also has night-vision goggles for landings in the dark, but that also calls for special procedures involving lights at the landing site.

First responders were also instructed on when and how to call for LifeFlight and also on the reasons a helicopter would not be able to respond.

Those reasons include maintenance, both scheduled and unscheduled, inclement weather and other flights.

A LifeFlight helicopter was scheduled to land at the hospital for a demonstration, but was unable to do so because it was dispatched to an emergency.