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Airport welcomes new tenant as AirCare opens 3rd air medical base

May 9, 2012
547286_397292296978702_1893156193_n.jpg Wake Forest Baptist Health AirCare and Air Methods Corporation are pleased today to announce the addition of a third air medical helicopter under the call sign "AirCare 3," which will be based at Blue Ridge Airport in Henry County.

AirCare 3 will complement AirCare 1, which is based at Davidson (NC) Municipal Airport, and AirCare 2, which is based at Elkin (NC) Municipal Airport. The new air medical service will provide immediate, emergency air medical care to North Carolina's and Virginia's most critically ill and injured patients in more than eight counties.

The addition of a third base will reduce the flight time to communities in Virginia, including Pittsylvania, Franklin, Henry, Patrick, Floyd, Carroll, and Grayson counties and the cities of Martinsville and Danville, by approximately 15 minutes. This aircraft will also serve communities within North Carolina including Rockingham, Alamance, Guilford, Caswell, Stokes, and Surry counties.

"By locating these air ambulances strategically, we are significantly improving our response time to critically ill and injured patients in our 26 county referral area," said Holly Mason, Program Manager for AirCare Critical Care Transport. "The Critical Care Transport system is a vital community asset, and this expansion will ensure that patients in rural areas have access to quality emergency care. Our team is proud to be a part of the EMS system of first responders, paramedics, nurses and physicians who are committed to excellence in emergency services."

AirCare flies within a 150-mile radius of its bases and currently transports patients with traumatic, cardiac, neurological, medical, pediatric, and neonatal emergencies. The crew will be based at Blue Ridge Airport and consists of a pilot, registered nurse, paramedic, respiratory therapist, communications specialist and mechanic. AirCare is licensed in North Carolina and Virginia.

"We are excited about bringing AirCare 3 to Henry County," said Jim Adams, Chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors. "Nothing is more important in an emergency than access to immediate medical care, and our entire region will benefit from this project."

When requested by EMS or referring hospitals, the helicopter is immediately dispatched, and the crew is in direct contact with EMS personnel at the scene or the referring physician at the hospital. The medical crew provides immediate, lifesaving interventions and transports patients to facilities in North Carolina and Virginia.

"Blue Ridge Airport Authority, serving Henry and Patrick County and the city of Martinsville, is proud to join in this partnership with Air Methods and Air Care," said Jason Davis, Managing Director of Blue Ridge Airport.

The helicopter, owned and operated by Air Methods Corporation, the global leader in air medical transportation, flies at a cruising speed of approximately 150 miles per hour and is equipped with sophisticated life support and patient care equipment plus state-of-the-art navigation and communications gear and night vision goggles.

About Wake Forest Baptist AirCare
Wake Forest Baptist AirCare began the air ambulance service 25 years ago and has transported more than 15,000 patients.

Wake Forest University Baptist Health is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Brenner Children's Hospital, Wake Forest University Physicians, and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university's School of Medicine and Piedmont Triad Research Park. The system, which includes Lexington Memorial Hospital, comprises 1,004 acute care and rehabilitation beds and has been ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report since 1993. Wake Forest Baptist Health also holds the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM from The Joint Commission; the nation's esteemed standards-setting and accrediting body for health care quality. Wake Forest Baptist has more than 200 physicians listed in Best Doctors in America®. The institution is in the top third in funding by the National Institutes of Health and fourth in the Southeast in revenues from its licensed intellectual property.


Media Contacts:

Tim Hall - Henry County - (276) 634-4605

Jason Davis - Blue Ridge Airport - (276) 957-2291

Holly Mason - AirCare - (336) 403-0131


Martinsville Virginia