Carilion Clinic: Helicopters Over Roanoke!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Helicopters Over Roanoke!

Wednesday, October 10 was a busy day for Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital - particularly for Carilion Patient Transportation Services (affectionately called CPTS around here).

A plane crash
and unrelated heart attack resulted in three in-bound medical flights arriving at the hospital at about the same time. Carilion LifeGuard 11 and a Virginia State Police medevac helicopter responded to the small plane crash in Hillsville, while LifeGuard 10 responded to a Heart Alert emergency in the New River Valley (Heart Alert is a Carilion program to identify heart attack patients at the surrounding community hospitals and fly them directly to the hospital's heart catheterization lab for treatment.

Here is some video of the whole thing (low quality - sorry, this is from a digital still camera)

Carilion LifeGuard 10 landed on the rooftop helipad first with the Heart Alert patient, kept the rotors turning and took off as soon as the patient was safely off the pad. As LifeGuard 10 left the pad in one diretion, LifeGuard 11 circled around from the other direction and landed with the first plane crash victim. As that victim was being taken off the helicopter, the State Police helicopter landed at the Carilion LifeGuard hangar down the street and the second plane crash victim was transported the remaining short distance to the Emergency Department by ground ambulance. The plane crash victims are listed in fair condition. The Carilion Patient Transportation Service dispatch center did an incredible job coordinating the incoming helicopter and ground traffic!
The Carilion helicopter crews have flow 7 missions so far today. Its not unusual for Carilion Roanoke Memorial to have three in-bound helicopters, though it is uncommon for they all to land within a ten-minute window.