The active outdoor lifestyle of residents and visitors in southwestern Utah and eastern Nevada brings both a sense of adventure and an element of risk. When trouble strikes, a trusted name in air medical services is ready to answer the call with emergency care. AirLife Utah opened a new base in Cedar City, UT yesterday, offering quicker response times for emergent and trauma situations as well as interfacility transports for patients needing to move between hospitals for specialized care.
The new base in Cedar City adds to the AirLife Utah program already established in Ogden and Orem, and is part of Air Methods, the largest provider of air medical services in the United States. When the national parks are busy, the crew will keep the helicopter in Hurricane, UT during the day so they can reach those in need even more quickly.
“The parks around the area are an asset to southwestern Utah and eastern Nevada, but visitors may be unprepared for the conditions,” said Erik Bornemeier, account executive with Air Methods. “When people enjoying our landscape get injured, experience heat stroke, or are unable to get themselves out of the parks, we can access remote areas with emergency medical care.”
AirLife Utah flies an AS350 helicopter able to perform in the high altitude and intense heat of the region. It carries blood in flight for accident victims experiencing extreme blood loss and a risk of hemorrhagic shock. It has a fast lift time, bringing life-saving care to accident scenes when every minute counts.
Every AirLife Utah helicopter carries a highly skilled crew. All the clinicians and pilots have years of experience in the field and receive advanced, ongoing training. Every nurse and paramedic has access to Air Methods Ascend, an in-person and online training program that allows clinicians to perform at the top of their licensure. Air Methods Ascend is available to medical personnel across the county.
“In a rural county such as Iron, response time to incidents in more remote areas such as New Castle, Beryl, or the Northeast County are crucial,” said Iron County Emergency Manager George Colson. “AirLife Utah, with their base in Cedar City, will not only give law enforcement and fire enhanced, timely coverage of the County, but their ability to respond directly to the scene then to the hospital in a matter of minutes, not hours, will undoubtedly mean the difference between life and death for many. The professionalism and commitment that they have expressed to the response community in Iron County make them a most welcome and valuable asset.”
With sister base Mercy Air 11 located in Mesquite, NV, the region is well covered with air resources. As part of the largest air medical service in the country, AirLife Utah has access to a large pool of pilots, clinicians, and mechanics. If a local crew member is ill or unavailable to fly, backups are available to keep the aircraft in service and ready for the community.
Additionally, a unique partnership with Southern Utah University makes sure future aircraft are also well-staffed. The university offers pilot and aircraft mechanic training programs, and the flight program was developed by an Air Methods pilot. Students graduate with a path to work with AirLife Utah once they have the required hours of experience.
Air Methods is committed to providing air medical services to all members of the communities they serve and is in-network with most health insurance companies, so a membership is never needed. Their patient advocacy program works with all patients, regardless of insurance, to ensure affordability.