By Reuben Mees
In a critical care situation, a few minutes can make all the difference in saving a life. That’s why the MedFlight team is ready at a moment’s notice to jump in a helicopter and fly a patient to a regional trauma center.
“Our goal is that within 25 minutes of their first contact with EMS, our patients have access to Level I trauma care,” said Rod Bair, a flight nurse and public outreach coordinator for the air ambulance service.
The three-person crew — a flight nurse, paramedic and pilot — are stationed out of an old farmhouse at Allen Center, in southwestern Union County. Known as Base 2 of the statewide service, the Allen Center station serves Logan, Champaign, Hardin, Union, Madison and Marion counties and provides mutual aid or support to bases in surrounding areas.
The personnel typically work 12- or 24-hour shifts to provide around-the-clock coverage and spend their downtime maintaining their numerous required certifications in various life-saving techniques and medical specialties.