By Amber Smith
Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue Service paramedics Pamela Jones and Eimile Parker made the important decision to alert LifeNet of New York — and a helicopter based at Watertown International Airport in nearby Dexter was readied for flight, just in case. Patients in rural areas such as Clayton with certain medical emergencies including strokes or diabetic complications have better survival odds the faster they receive definitive medical care.
Driving the patient to Syracuse, even using lights and sirens, would have taken almost an hour and a half. Flying took 25 minutes.
Once LifeNet pilot Scott Talon pointed the helicopter toward Syracuse, the LifeNet crew radioed the emergency physician on duty at Upstate, Brett Cherrington, MD. At 5:17 p.m., he activated the hospital’s stroke team.