From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 8, Number 47 - February 12, 2009
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Aircraft increases chances of saving lives

by Tiffany Turner

Due to Sublette County’s distance from large cities and their emergency medical facilities, many critical patients place their lives in life-flight services from Air Idaho Rescue (AIR) and Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC).

“The residents of Sublette County are very fortunate to have EIRMC, a Level II trauma center, in the region that has responded via helicopter for our critical patients for years,” said Dr. James Quirk of the Rural Health Care District (RHCD). “We could not be more pleased with the level of care and service provided to our patients.”

Th at life-flight service is improving, too.

This winter EIRMC is adding a fixed-wing aircraft to diminish no-fly days for Sublette County, as it can go airborne in weather that a helicopter cannot.

“So days we would have called Salt Lake City, Idaho Falls will be able to respond, which will increase the speed at which we can get patients to a certifi ed trauma center,” Quirk said. “As a result, lives will be saved.”

Th is will also create an additional craft available to the AIR crew.

“Only in the most extreme circumstances have we had two flights in the air at once, but it has happened since I have been here,” Quirk said.

Whether or not this additional service will raise lifeflight rates is unknown to RHCD, but Quirk advises everyone in Sublette County to look into supplemental flight-rescue insurance to help alleviate the costs should the need for a life-flight arise.

“Omniflight has a service; fliers and details are available at the clinics,” Quirk said.

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