Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:45PM - 397 Views

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Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

The Healthnet 4/Medflight 7 airbase located at 7106 Big Bear Creek Road in Lucasville recently received a new, larger helicopter to serve the air medical needs of the community.

“The new ride we got is an American Eurocopter EC130. It’s got all of the latest bells and whistles on it and it’s been in service for almost two weeks now,” said Jeff Hall, a flight paramedic with Healthnet 4/Medflight 7 for nearly the last five years.

He said the base received the helicopter because they were due for an upgrade.

“With this new helicopter we have quite a bit more room. It came equipped with all of the latest in safety technology. It also has wire strike capabilities, in case we get into service wires,” Hall said. “It’s got autopilot so, if we run into inadvertent weather this has the capabilities to bring us to where we need to land at an airport or a secure area.”

He said the previous helicopter had autopilot but does not have all the features of the new chopper’s autopilot.

When asked what this new helicopter will mean to a patient in need or the people of the area, Hall said, “this is going to be a better system for everyone in the area.”

He said in 2012 the Lucasville base had nearly 400 flights and this time of year is typically very busy for the base.

“This time of year is trauma season, where we will be a lot more utilized,” Hall said.

When asked what type of accidents or scenes they respond to the most, he said, “we do a lot of inter-facilities compared to scene flights. We do respond to SUV accidents, car wrecks and many other scenes in the area.”

As far as a coverage area is concerned, he said they will respond to a scene in which they are the nearest responding aircraft.

Hall said there really isn’t a “typical day” so to speak.

“In this business there is not really a typical day,” he said. “You may sit here and not receive a call or like the other day 7:45 a.m. we lifted and we were going until 8:30 p.m. that night.”

There are eight full-time employees that work out of the Lucasville base, not counting the pilots and mechanics. Hall said there are some part-time employees that work at the base as well.

“Our No. 1 goal of this base is safety. The first and foremost, we go home at the end of the shift. The biggest thing we strive on is our safety record,” Hall said. “We are here for the community. We are here for one reason, to transport the sick and injured in southern Ohio.”

Hall said most of the employees at the base live in Scioto County. Hall said he’s has been in EMS in Scioto County for more than 20 years and helps out in Minford and Porter Townships.

In addition to all of the services the base give to the area, they also offer occasional classes for area firefighters and other groups.

The base recently offered it’s Fifth Annual Tri-State Fire/EMS Education Day at Shawnee State University. The conference saw roughly 120 participates from three different states.

For more information about the Healthnet4/Medflight 7 Lucasville base visit them on Facebook or call 740-259-0197.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.

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