SAN LUIS VALLEY - In an area as large as the San Luis Valley, every second counts when getting patients, the lifesaving care they need. With that in mind, SLV Health announced that the health organization is partnering with Eagle Air Med to bring a new emergency air medical transport service to the San Luis Valley. This will enable medical care to get help where it’s needed quickly. For example, arrival to an emergency in La Jara is now only approximately 7 minutes away, and to take someone to Denver will only take 90 minutes.
“We know that in some medical emergencies, time can be critical,” said Konnie Martin, Chief Executive Officer of San Luis Valley Health. “By having a helicopter here, we can get patients to our facility quickly and when needed, get them to a higher level of care.”
The helicopter base, operating out of SLV Regional Medical Center in Alamosa, will offer 24-hour a day, seven days a week services staffed by highly trained pilots, flight nurses and flight paramedics using an Airbus H-125 helicopter.
This helicopter is unique in that it is designed for high elevations, especially found here in the Valley, and even made a training run to the top of Mount Everest, setting a record. Because of that capability, it will also be used to assist in local search and rescue operations, landing in areas of need that ambulances might not be able to get to.
“Our Alamosa fixed-wing team has built strong bonds in the local community and with our valued partners in care,” said Vicky Spediacci, Air Chief Operating Officer for Global Medical Response, West Group. “We are thrilled to strengthen those connections and provide additional support to the region through the opening of this base.”
The helicopter will be maintained by on-site aviation maintenance technicians and is configured with the latest avionics and safety features. The crew manning the helicopter will live and work out of the San Luis Valley, and partner with the ambulance crew to increase response time. In addition, the helicopter will work alongside the fixed-wing located at the airport, which can go greater distances while carrying more weight.
“We here at SLV Health work each day at being a trusted partner in health for the San Luis Valley,” Martin said. “We are excited and honored to partner with Eagle Air Med in bringing a helicopter to our community.” For more information about SLV Health, please go online to www.sanluisvalleyhealth.org