February 5 2010 - TMF Debuts Long-Range Critical Care Helicopter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              Flight For Life | Flight For Life Staff | Our Aircraft Fleet

2/5/2010

For more information:
John Moore
Public Information Officer
(903) 531-4542
moorej@tmfhs.org

TRINITY MOTHER FRANCES DEBUTS LONG-RANGE CRITICAL CARE HELICOPTER FOR FLIGHT FOR LIFE PROGRAM

Aircraft Brings Advanced Technologies and Enhanced Safety

TYLER, TX – Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler launched the first medical helicopter program in the area in 1985. Today, officials with the Hospital unveiled a $7 million critical care helicopter that can carry patients longer distances than any other medical aircraft in the region.

Hospital officials said the EC145 flies up to 145 knots, or roughly 166 miles per hour. The aircraft can fly as far as Houston and other equal-distance cities without refueling and can accommodate two patients at a time.

“This helicopter is a critical care unit with many of the same capabilities as a hospital ICU. So, the upgrade was a logical one. We wanted the capability to fly as far and fast as possible to reach our patients, and this aircraft does both,” said Ray Thompson, FACHE, Executive Vice President/COO-TMF, Chief Executive Officer, Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler. “The BK-117 has been the focus of our air medical fleet for over 20 years. Moving to the EC145 gives us all the advantages we enjoyed with the BK-117, plus newer technologies and safety equipment. The larger cabin will allow us to expand our scope to meet the needs of our growing service area.”

"This helicopter provides numerous features, including night vision goggles, that improve the delivery of patient safety and care," said Thompson. "With more space, flight nurses and flight paramedics can provide continuous critical care en route to the hospital. We have the LIFEPAK 15 for monitoring electrocardiograms, 12 lead EKGs to transmit information to Mother Frances for diagnosing heart attacks, and the ability to monitor oxygen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide levels in the body. The aircraft is also equipped with intravenous infusion pumps to deliver IV medications, a mechanical ventilator to provide oxygen to those that can’t breathe adequately and a fiber optic camera to see into patient airways."

Hospital officials said the EC145 provides the largest cabin size in its class, which allows for maximum flexibility and configuration options. The aircraft offers high set main and tail rotors, rear-loading clamshell doors, extra payload capacity, visibility and additional safety features including night vision goggles, GPS navigation, traffic information systems, terrain avoidance warning systems, satellite weather and flight information services.

The Trinity Mother Frances Flight For Life crew is scheduled to visit several locations in the region during February to give physicians, clinical personnel and the public the opportunity to see the helicopter.

Flight For Life EC145 Facts:

1. Equipped with Night Vision Goggles
2. Redundant design of all critical systems and components
3. Energy absorbing seats and landing gear and shock-resistant composite materials
4. Advanced glass-cockpit display helps reduce pilot workload
5. GPS navigation
6. Traffic information system (aids in visual acquisition and situational awareness)
7. Terrain Avoidance warning (shows general terrain elevation, and individual obstructions)
8. Satellite weather and flight information services (allows for updated weather and operational information)
9. Significant increase in weight-carrying capacity

About TMF Flight For Life

Trinity Mother Frances Hospital’s Flight For Life program launched in 1985 to fulfill a need for rapid transportation for critical care patients in east Texas. The program, based in Tyler, serves a 150-mile radius covering a 32-county area. Flight For Life averages 600 to 700 flights each year and transports critically ill and injured patients to Tyler's busiest Emergency Care Center at Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler that sees over 65,000 patient visits per year. Flight For Life serves as part of Champion EMS.

About Champion EMS

With communications and operations located in Longview, Champion EMS, operated through a partnership between Trinity Mother Frances and Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, serves 13 counties and dozens of communities, uses 31 staffed ambulances and employs 261 medical and administrative personnel. Champion EMS operates one of the region’s most technologically advanced communication centers. The 911 dispatch service is able to communicate with virtually every public safety agency in Northeast Texas. It is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with certified emergency medical dispatchers who will stay on the line and provide emergency care instructions until the ambulance arrives.

About Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics

Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics includes Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler, Mother Frances Hospital-Jacksonville, Trinity Mother Frances Rehabilitation Hospital, affiliated with HealthSouth, Tyler ContinueCARE Hospital, a long-term acute care facility, and Trinity Clinic. Trinity Clinic is the area's preferred multispecialty medical group, with over 250 physicians and mid-level providers representing 37 specialties in 36 clinic locations serving east Texas. For more information on services available through Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, visit tmfhc.org.

# # #