Vail hospital to add helicopter service
November 7, 2009
VAIL, Colo. – The Vail Valley Medical Center will add helicopter transport service to Eagle County and hospitals in surrounding areas. The service is scheduled to begin in February and will be based out of Eagle County Regional Airport.
“We recognize this as an important service for our patient base,” said Dr. Chip Woodland, chief medical officer at the medical center. “Given the nature of the terrain in the high country, air transport allows us to move patients more quickly in some circumstances than with ground transportation.”
The agreement with TriState CareFlight allows the medical center to provide the service in Eagle and surrounding counties without buying a helicopter.
“Our agreement with TriState CareFlight will work well,” Woodland said. “They provide the equipment, paramedics and flight nurses and VVMC will provide the medical director. The partnership will serve patients throughout the Central Rockies area, including Aspen and Steamboat. Though the service is not a revenue generator for VVMC, the partnership provides a level of patient care essential for a hospital of our caliber.”
Medical transport service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year, according to Woodland.
“The main use of this service will be to transfer patients to a higher level of care when necessary. The helicopter will also be available to respond to emergency situations working in conjunction with local EMS,” Woodland added. “Having this service fills a major gap in the middle of Colorado and ensures that patients receive the highest level of care.”
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Summit County is already home to the Flight For Life service based out of St. Anthony’s Summit Medical Center in Frisco.