by the PRMC staff, Special to the Roundup
The EMS system is dynamic and depends on many agencies working as one to ensure the best patient care. A person dials 911 with a medical emergency and the local fire department, police department, or EMS provider responds to the emergency.
During a medical emergency, the need for further assistance may arise if a patient has been involved in a traumatic event, is in a remote area, or the most appropriate trauma facility is located at a great distance from the patient’s location. It is during these events when it may be necessary to utilize an airborne ambulance transport resource.
Helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) provides rapid delivery of advanced medical treatment to a qualified group of critically ill and injured patients and decreases out of hospital time. Research shows that helicopter transported patients had a 52 percent reduction in predicted mortality. The reduction in mortality for these patients was due to the ability of a helicopter to deliver the skilled medical crew to the patient at the scene of the accident.
In the greater Mogollon Rim area, Native Air 7 is the local Helicopter EMS provider. Native Air has been serving Payson and communities in Northern Gila County for more than a decade and continues to work closely with local EMS providers to provide quality patient care.
Because the utilization of a medevac helicopter can be a complex process, the flight team for Native Air 7 conducts multiple training events with local fire, law enforcement, and EMS providers each year. These training events include advanced patient care techniques, safety, and landing zone operations. The continued training also goes a long way to build familiarity between the agencies and their personnel. The EMS community is a small community and many of the people who serve in the various agencies are local and share the common value of community service.
Many of the Native Air crew members are from the Payson area and have families living in the same communities they serve. The paramedics who fly for Native Air began in the fire and EMS industry and still carry on the values and skills learned from their previous positions.
Native Air and the flight crew at Native 7 support the community of Payson by donating to toy drives for children during the holidays, participating in local school safety events, and by sponsoring larger events like the Mogollon Monster Mud Run and the Town of Payson 4th of July celebration.
Native Air is committed to supporting the many dedicated men and women of the EMS agencies they work closely with and to a long-term presence in the communities they are honored to live in and serve.