Michelle Lowe

About Michelle Lowe

Delivering the news in North MS and West AL. has been just one more "Day in the Life" since 2007. Anchor of WCBI News at 9 on MYMS, co-anchor WCBI News at 10. Email me with story ideas!

Video: MedStat Heads to Golden Triangle

Columbus, MS, April 3, 2013 – MedStat EMS, Inc. announces the expansion of its Helicopter

Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operation in an effort to improve access to care for victims

of traumatic injuries and critical illnesses in east central Mississippi. Company officials today

announced the opening of their newest medical helicopter base at the Golden Triangle Regional

airport in Columbus, MS.

MedStat EMS, with its corporate headquarters located in Winona, MS, presently has a medical

helicopter based in Winona, MS and serves as the primary 911 ambulance provider for 15

Counties in central and north Mississippi. MedStat will staff the helicopter with a critical care

team consisting of a nurse and paramedic who will utilize advanced medical equipment and

procedures beyond what is typically provided on paramedic level ambulances.

MedStat EMS CEO Barry Eskridge emphasized that this service will fill a void in east central

Mississippi as well as provide increased availability for MedStat’s HEMS program. “Prior to the

establishment of our base at GTR, the region’s closest HEMS helicopter was over 50 miles

away. Citizens of the Golden Triangle region now have immediate access to the life saving

expert medical care and increased speed of transportation a HEMS unit offers.”

Company officials state the program expansion will benefit a wide variety of patient types.

Patients suffering from significant trauma, heart attacks, strokes, and critical medical problems

will benefit from the service. Rapid and direct transportation to trauma center, heart

catheterization lab, stroke center, or a facility that provides advanced medical care is proven to

provide substantially better outcomes for patients. With the helicopter based at a central location

and by closely integrating the activation of the helicopter with local ambulance services and

healthcare facilities, Patients will have rapid access to the major trauma centers and tertiary care

hospitals substantially faster than if transported by ground ambulance or by having to wait for an

aircraft from out of the area to facilitate the transport.

The expansion will also provide logistical benefits for MedStat’s existing HEMS program. “By

having another helicopter located just 60 miles from our existing Winona base, the units can

provide backup coverage for each other in the event one aircraft is busy or if there is a multicasualty

scene,” Eskridge said.

 

Both helicopters to be utilized were built at the American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, MS.

Widely used in HEMS transport programs across the country, the Eurocopter AS350-B2 is well

known for its mechanical reliability, performance and safety record. The Helicopter based at

GTR will be equipped with advanced avionics to include terrain avoidance technology, air traffic

collision avoidance technology, autopilot, radar altimeter, satellite tracking and monitoring

through MedStat’s control center as well as night vision goggles for the pilot and medical crew

members. The helicopter has a range of over 300 miles and has a cruising speed of 133 knots

(153 mph).

The aircraft based in Columbus will respond to request for service from local EMS agencies and

hospitals within a 75 mile radius of Columbus and will provide support for our ground

ambulance operations in Monroe County.