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NMMC Aeromedical

Association of Air Medical Services

In 1986, the need for a medical helicopter service created the addition of North Mississippi Air Helicopter Service to North Mississippi Medical Center. The helicopter is leased from Air Methods in Provo, Utah. Air Methods, the largest medical aviation provider in America, provides North Mississippi Air with pilots who have many years of flight experience and thousands of hours of flight time, and a full time aircraft mechanic, also with many years of experience, who is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the aircraft.

On December 5, 1986, North Mississippi Air made its first patient transport mission to Red Bay, Alabama to transport a young man diagnosed with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. This patient was successfully resuscitated and flown back to NMMC where he underwent surgery and was discharged from the hospital in good condition a few days later. Since this successful flight, North Mississippi Air has logged more than 7300 flights and flown to various destinations in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

North Mississippi Air, regulated by the Mississippi State Department of Health's Emergency Medical Services Division, is licensed as a critical care transport service, the highest level of care obtainable in the United States for EMS. When requested, the flight crew provides critical care treatment to patients at any scene or referring facility within a 150-mile radius at their time of need. The helicopter cruises at 120 miles per hour.

North Mississippi Air carries three crew members - a pilot and two medical crew members, on all flights. The medical crew, including registered nurses and certified paramedics, is highly skilled in advanced procedures. Each specialized crew member, certified in ACLS, BTLS or PHTLS, PALS, and NALS, spends many hours obtaining continuing education to maintain competency at the critical care level. A respiratory therapist and registered nurse are available for neonate flights. A staff of four communication specialists (dispatchers) coordinates each patient transport and obtains flight patient information. These specialists are also responsible for the helicopter's flight tracking to ensure the safety of the aeromedical crew and the patient at all times.

North Mississippi Air handles four types of flight missions:

  • Scene flights
  • Transfers to NMMC from a referring facility
  • Transfers from NMMC to a receiving facility
  • Third hospital transfers

The aircraft is equipped with Advanced Life Support equipment and supplies which permit the crew to provide extensive services such as monitor arterial and Swan-Ganz lines, hang and transport blood and blood products, paralytic use, and administer advanced drips such as Cardizem, thrombolytics, and Nipride.

North Mississippi Air is proud to be a link in the chain of many who provide patient care to the thousands of people in this region. Our mission is to continuously improve the health of the people of our region.

Aeromedical Helicopter Service is available around the clock to transport critically ill or injured patients between hospitals, or from the site of an emergency to NMMC. The helicopter service can transport to any facility within its 150-mile service area.

* EMS Night Out is held every 3rd Tuesday of the month and offers discussions on different health topics each month. EMS Night Out is offered to all levels of pre-hospital and in-hospital healthcare providers.

For more information, call: 1-800-THE DESK (1-800-843-3375).

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