By Eames Yates
May 15, 2013
Lowndes County, GA -
The view from a helicopter in the air can be breathtaking, but it can also help breathe life into those riding inside. Because when lives are on the line, time can be the greatest enemy.
One helicopter pilot said "the response times are going to be a whole lot quicker." Another said "it's something we've never had. It's something we've always needed."
This chopper is the new mode of transportation for those involved in a life threatening event. The new Medical Transportation Base is housed at the Valdosta Airport. It was created by Air Methods Corporation.
Jeff See works for Air Methods Corporation. He said "having the local asset here is going to be a game changer for the community at large here. Not only for this county but surrounding counties."
The helicopter costs about $3 million dollars. It's got a top speed of about a hundred and fifty miles an hour and can transport one patient at a time.
The base houses a helicopter and its crew -- both of which are on call twenty four hours a day.
Brian Vickers is a flight nurse and paramedic. He said "they got a big community hospital here in Valdosta that is a cardiac and a stroke center so being able to pick up here locally and deliver locally that potentially could be fifteen or twenty minutes instead of an hour, hour and a half, previously."
Wednesday was the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the air medical transportation base. It is now fully operational.