COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Saturday, Columbus County firefighters and first responders attended a special training to learn how to call for and help land a medical helicopter.
The New Hanover Regional Medical Center recently received a second medical helicopter. Due to the addition, the current AirLink helicopter will move to Onslow County and a new one will be stationed at the Columbus Regional Healthcare System.
Authorities say the additional helicopter will help to save time and lives.
"This will definitely help to save lives in Columbus County," said Angie McAdams, an AirLink representative. She said in the past, Columbus County had to wait for the helicopter to come all the way from the NHRMC, meaning some parts of the county had to wait up to 25 minutes. Now she says it will take between 8 and 10 minutes.
"Time is a critical factor in someones life or death," said Kay Worley, the Columbus County EMS Director. "The minutes save lives".
Officials say being able to start giving patients treatment sooner, will not only help to save lives but also allow trauma patients to recover more than they would have before. "We have something called a Golden Hour," said McAdams. "Statistically patients that receive care within that hour window will have better outcomes."
She says, for stroke patients, a quicker response means potentially preventing brain damage.
"The outcome is based on how quickly the patent is able to have blood flow return to the heart or brain," said McAdams.
Right now, one of the AirLink helicopters is already stationed in Onslow County. As soon as the new Airlink station on the campus of Columbus Regional Healthcare System is ready, the second one will move from New Hanover to Columbus County.
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