Union County based MedFlight 2 station has been serving Delaware County for nearly 20 years by providing emergency helicopter responses and inter-hospital transportation.
Base manager Paul DeVore said MedFlight 2 services Delaware, Union, Logan, Hardin, Auglaize and Allen counties from its base of operations in Union County’s Allen Township.
DeVore, a former firefighter, said the base works very similar to a firehouse since MedFlight medics, nurses and pilots live on the base during their shifts. DeVore said nurses and medics work either 12- or 24-hour shifts and the pilots, who are contractors from Metro Aviation, can only work 12-hour shifts due to Federal Aviation Administration rules.
Medics and nurses are flight certified and must have experience in emergency rooms or intensive care units.
DeVore said MedFlight 2 is associated with OhioHealth and primarily provides inter-hospital transfers either between hospitals or from small health facilities to hospitals. DeVore said MedFlight also responds to serious car crashes and other emergencies, such as transporting two men rescued from a Radnor Township trench collapse in April.
“We are here to be part of the community,” DeVore said. “We’re here to serve it and be part of it.”
DeVore said he came to MedFlight after working as a firefighter for a number of years.
“For me it was a natural progression,” DeVore said. “I wanted to test my abilities and have a chance to really be at the top of my game.”
The helicopter is stored in a hangar adjacent to the home the nurses and medics live in during their shifts and is maintained by an on-staff mechanic. DeVore said the helicopters are modified sight-seeing helicopters and can support a pilot, stretcher, and three passengers. Devore said the helicopter has emergency medical equipment and a compliment of drugs that you would find in an emergency room.
The helicopter is stored on a small trailer that is towed out to the helipad for take-off and pilots working for MedFlight have to land on the trailer, which is barely wider than a dozen feet. In flight, the helicopter travels at speeds between 110-130 miles per hour, which can generate noise for residents it passes over.
“We understand it creates a racket but we are trying to make sure we can get you there as expeditiously as possible to get excellent medical care,” DeVore said.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.