Talon News - Good Local News

By Laura Werbner
Special to TALON 

CARE TAKES TO THE SKY

 

October 26, 2018

AirCare 1 is moved into position for takeoff at sunset on the helipad at San Juan Regional Medical Center.

CARE TAKES TO THE SKY

Laura Werbner, Special to TALON

San Juan Regional Medical Center's air ambulance services attract a lot of attention out in the community. People love to see the helicopter up close and far away as it flies through the air. A so-called "hospital with wings," AirCare includes a rotor-wing helicopter (AirCare 1) and fixed-wing airplane (AirCare 2) providing emergency medical flights for our patients.

This unique aeromedical transport system has grown and expanded a lot in 30 plus years. It first began as an idea in the fall of 1986, when the hospital realized there was a need to transfer cardiac patients to Albuquerque for care that they couldn't receive locally. Four Corners Aviation provided an airplane as needed and staff members interested in helping out with the flights were put on an on-call list. It wasn't until the early 1990s that AirCare became its own department with its own helicopter and a dedicated crew that included a paramedic, nurse and pilot.

Realizing how important this service is to the community, San Juan Regional Medical Center made the commitment to purchase an airplane in 2008. Three years later, the hospital purchased a helicopter as well. Today, the department continues to honor that commitment by flying the right course every time; operating with the highest standards and expectations for quality and safety. In fact, AirCare has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) continuously since 1995. This is a voluntary process that is very tough to achieve.

"We continuously raise the bar and the standards for patient care and safety and continue improving on everything we do," AirCare Manager, Mike Berve, said.

In the end, it all boils down to safety and the commitment AirCare has to its patients, demonstrating the organization's Core Value of Sacred Trust. Berve said accreditation not only shows that AirCare meets national standards, it also proves that the community can be confident that AirCare is constantly working to be as safe and as high quality as possible. It takes a talented and dedicated team of individuals working around the clock to achieve the best outcomes.

"It takes great people with great attitudes to do this job," Berve said. "They ensure that all patients using AirCare services are getting the best medical treatment possible, regardless of whether they're in the air or on the ground."

Team Accountability, another SJRMC Core Value, is also very important. AirCare wouldn't be what it is today without the people and partnerships involved. The numerous contributions and continued support of San Juan Regional Medical Center staff members, the City of Farmington, San Juan County and area dispatchers have helped AirCare fly high for the past 32 years, with many more to come.

 

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