Air Evac Lifeteam to establish base at Ironton hospital

Published 8:35 am Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Residents in the Ironton area will soon have an air ambulance helicopter to call their own.

Air Evac Lifeteam, with a network of 110 bases throughout the central United States and six in Ohio, has announced it will partner with St. Mary’s Medical Center Ironton Campus to open the base sometime this fall or winter. Air Evac Lifeteam is the nation’s largest independently-owned and operated air ambulance service, and its crews provide on-the-scene medical care, rapid medical transport, and transfers between medical facilities.

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The Ironton base will employ 12 to 15 individuals and serve communities within a 70-mile radius of Lawrence County.

St. Mary’s Medical Center President and Chief Eexecutive Officer Michael Sellards said he is excited to work in conjunction with Air Evac Lifeteam.

“We’re very pleased that this medical helicopter will be established at our Ironton campus,” Sellards said. “This will give patients the fastest possible access to our advanced emergency services at the St. Mary’s ER in Ironton and Huntington.”

Sellards called Air Evac Lifeteam’s arrival “another big step forward in medical care for people of the Tri-State.”

An Air Evac Lifeteam crew, which includes a registered nurse, paramedic and pilot, is on call at each base 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Crew members are trained in advanced pre-hospital care, allowing them to continue medical care at the scene and en route to the hospital. This same training also allows for critical care hospital-to-hospital transfers.

The Ironton helicopter will be equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment, including the use of night vision goggles (NVGs), which are particularly useful on nights with little illumination in identifying emergency scene landing zones in difficult terrain, such as mountains and hills, by raising night-time vision to 20/20.

Air Evac Lifeteam, headquartered in West Plains, Mo., often serves as the critical link to improved response time and immediate access to medical care facilities across 15 states.

Air Evac Lifeteam President Seth Myers emphasized that the base in Ironton is a great addition to the already quality health services in the southern Ohio.

“Our goal is to be an extension of those services already in place by providing rapid transport in critical medical situations,” he said, adding that Air Evac Lifeteam’s mission “is to save lives and positively impact outcomes during life-or-limb-threatening medical emergencies, and we can do this by providing rapid access to definitive emergency health care. Our goal is to provide quality health care to area residents, and we have unwavering dedication to our mission.”

Myers added that the Ironton base opening is part of an ever-expanding commitment by Air Evac Lifeteam and the health care community in the region to improve access to trauma care for residents of southern Ohio.

Air Evac Lifeteam was also one of the first air ambulance services in the country to offer a membership program. Members pay an annual fee and, if they are flown by Air Evac, they do not have to pay for the flight. Memberships are valid throughout Air Evac Lifeteam service areas, so members are covered while traveling through Air Evac Lifeteam service areas. Annual memberships are $50 for an individual, $55 for a couple and $60 for a household or three or more.

For more information about Air Evac Lifeteam services or employment opportunities, call 1-800-793-0010 or visit