Vanderbilt LifeFlight is adding a new response vehicle to its fleet, one that will assist local emergency service agencies on days that the helicopter can’t fly due to unfavorable weather conditions.
A “Critical Care Response” car will be placed at each of the five LifeFlight helicopter community bases for the critical care medical teams to meet local EMS teams and assist transport by ground ambulance on missions that can’t be completed by air due to weather conditions. The cars are former Vanderbilt University Police Department patrol vehicles.
The LifeFlight medical crew will have all of the medical equipment and supplies that are normally available on the helicopter, including lifesaving blood.
Weather has a significant impact on LifeFlight’s ability to fly – in 2011 more than 1,300 missions were turned down due to poor weather conditions. LifeFlight has always offered its medical teams to help local EMS agencies on transports, however that was often a logistical challenge since the EMS agency had to pick up the teams at the local LifeFlight base.
The first of these vehicles has been placed at LifeFlight 2 at the Tullahoma Airport. The car, CCR 2, made its first mission within hours of being in service – the LifeFlight 2 crew responded to Harton Regional Medical Center to meet Coffee County EMS for a ground critical care transfer to Nashville.
Vanderbilt LifeFlight is the only non-profit air ambulance service in the Middle Tennessee region.
Photo: Flight Nurse Patrick Fair and Flight Paramedic Michael Clements in front of CCR 2 in Tullahoma. Photo by Tony Smith.