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'This is the best job ever': Waco's AirLift Texas crews get additional aircraft for eclipse

AirLift Texas Waco crew
Posted at 5:52 PM, Apr 04, 2024

WACO, Texas — AirLift Texas crews in Waco are getting an additional helicopter for the eclipse.

The extra aircraft is to help respond to emergencies if ground ambulances can't get through streets and roads due to congestion from heavy traffic.

Meet the team in the attached video.

Below is a press release from Air Methods Corporation regarding the additional aircraft for the eclipse:

While Waco is expected to be an ideal place to view the coming eclipse, the AirLift Texas crew knows that 100,000 visitors in the city could cause problems in case of a medical emergency. When jammed streets make it difficult for ground ambulances to reach people injured in car accidents or suffering from heart attacks or strokes, AirLift’s emergency air medical helicopter may be the best way to reach patients quickly. To help serve the large numbers of visitors in the days surrounding the eclipse, AirLift Texas is bringing in an additional air medical helicopter.

“With the expected influx of people in the area, there is great concern with ground EMS services being able to efficiently transport patients to a higher level of care,” said Teresa Snell, area manager with Air Methods, the parent company of AirLift Texas. “We are bringing in an extra EC130 helicopter to help with scene calls, interfacility transfers, and specialty team transports.”

The second helicopter and its best-in-class crew will serve the Wacoarea from April 7 to April 10. It will be stationed alongside the primary aircraft at AirLift’s base at TSTC Waco Airport.

“Our first responders across the city have been extensively planning for this event and working hard to ensure the safety of the members of our community,” said Dr. Rama Heyratifar, MD, with Baylor Scott & White’s Department of Emergency Medicine. “AirLift Texas will be providing additional air medical assets to augment our prehospital capabilities. Our community will heavily rely on our air medical partners on eclipse day and the days surrounding it. We are thankful for AirLift's partnership in supporting our community daily and during this historic event.”

AirLift Texas is part of Air Methods [link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com], the leading air medical service provider in the United States. The highly trained flight nurses and paramedics onboard both aircraft are equipped to transport pediatric, high-risk obstetrics, cardiac, and other patients with a wide variety of critical care needs. They carry blood that can be administered in-flight for patients suffering significant blood loss and at risk for hemorrhagic shock, which causes the body’s organs to fail and can lead to death.

Air Methods is committed to providing air medical services to all members of the communities they serve and are in-network with most major health insurance providers across the country for emergency air medical services. Additionally, their patient advocacy program works with all patients, regardless of insurance or the state they may be visiting from, to ensure affordability while making pre-paid air medical membership unnecessary.