Health Care in the Air

Air ambulances offer a significant speed advantage over ground ambulances and, because they don’t need to follow roads, they can reach distant and hardto- access locations that much quicker. Portneuf Air Rescue’s 14-person staff keeps the helicopters in service 24/7 and ready to respond whenever time is critical.


This partnership with Air Methods also makes a fixed-wing airplane available for patient transport. While helicopters can land in locations the plane can’t, the plane can fly in weather that grounds helicopters, and its greater speed allows for even quicker flight times over longer distances. Many rural communities rely on small crews of volunteer EMTs, and when one of these crews leaves the area to transport a patient to PMC, there might not be any additional emergency services coverage in their area. Portneuf Air Rescue helps prevent that possibility. Greg Vickers, NRP, MBA, Trauma and EMS Manager for PMC, says that Portneuf Air Rescue is a vital component of the statewide time-sensitive emergency system he helped implement for improved treatment of trauma, stroke, and heart attack. “Our aircrews get advanced care to patients as quickly as possible, and get them to us promptly to treat their medical problem,” Vickers says. “The transition of patients who arrive by Portneuf Air Rescue into the hospital is smooth because we have good communications with our flight crew and know that patients are receiving optimal prehospital care.”


Dallen Farmer, NRP, FP-C, Flight Paramedic and Clinical Base Supervisor, serves as a liaison between Air Methods and PMC. He works closely with PMC’s Trauma Committee, trauma surgeons, and cardiologists to deliver care. “From the time we leave the hospital to get a patient, we’re still working with the medical team to bring the high quality care they’d receive at PMC to the side of the road,” says Farmer who doesn’t take the Air Methods mantra of “defenders of tomorrow” lightly. “Every day, when I come to work, I realize that there will be someone, somewhere that will have a bad accident or heart attack. We’ll get a call to come take that person and try to make him or her better. We are out there trying to get injured people more tomorrows.”