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Q: In the recent rollover accident on Highway 87 south of Payson, the driver was transported to a Valley hospital rather than Payson Regional Medical Center, why was that decision made and what does it say about the level of care available locally?

A: Payson Fire Chief Marty deMasi said the fire department's protocol requires a victim in a rollover accident to be transported to a trauma center because of the level of care that is immediately available with teams of specialists on staff to deal with the kind of injuries usually found in a rollover. Additionally, the length of time the driver was trapped in the vehicle could have resulted in complications only a trauma center is equipped to handle. The Payson Regional Medical Center does not have that kind of specialist staffing, he said. While medical facilities are not formally ranked, on a scale of 1 to 10 for level of specialized care, a trauma center is a 10 and medical centers are generally a 3, deMasi said.

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