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The University of Mississippi Medical Center's Helicopter Flight program was established in 1996 with a single helicopter based in Jackson. The Jackson-based AirCare 1 helicopter was joined by the Meridian-based AirCare 2 helicopter the spring of 2009.
The second helicopter has allowed the AirCare program to slightly change its mission profile by transporting patients to not only UMHC but to other hospitals providing a higher level of care. Since the program's inception, the AirCare teams have safely transported over 13,000 adult, pediatric and neonatal patients over 1.7 million miles without any FAA-reportable accidents.
The helicopters are unique to the state of Mississippi in that both are operated under single-pilot Instrument Flight Rules-meaning the pilot may be able to complete flight requests in marginal weather conditions. Both aircraft are outfitted with autopilot systems, color-weather radar systems and anti-collision instruments to increase patient and flight team safety and full heating and air-conditioning systems to ensure patient comfort. Night Vision Goggles are used during all night operations.
Medical flight crews consist of dedicated flight nurses and flight paramedics and work closely the UMHC's Newborn Transport Team. 100% of the flight nurses hold a minimum of one specialty distinction such as CCRN, CEN or CFRN. The flight paramedics also hold advanced distinctions in areas such as Certified Flight Paramedic and Certified Neonatal-Pediatric Transport. Medical personnel have professional backgrounds ranging from over 20-years of EMS experience, Adult and Pediatric ICU experience and Adult and Pediatric Emergency Department Experience. Two units of O-negative blood are carried aboard all AirCare aircraft. Additional medical capabilities include the initiation and maintenance of peripheral arterial lines, RSI, and capnography monitoring of all intubated patients. Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma (FAST) bedside ultrasound exam can be done on all trauma patients in flight.
Flight requests and aircraft communications are the responsibility of Mississippi MedCom. In addition to aircraft communications, MedCom is ready to serve the needs of emergency responders and healthcare providers statewide during routine operations and in support of disasters or mass casualty incidents. MedCom is staffed 24/7 with experienced paramedics and emergency medical technicians.
The AirCare U-Fly Observer Program is temporarily suspended. We expect it to be back operational early in 2013.
Any questions concerning the AirCare program should be directed to Donna Norris, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Todd Perry, email@example.com.
Written inquiries may be sent to:
2500 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39216