By Jonathan Williams
Times West Virginian
When there’s an accident in the county, a rescue squad responds to the scene.
Most of the time, as trained medical professionals, they have the skills and tools they need to save lives as they rush patients to the hospital.
Sometimes, however, the patient’s ailment or injuries are too significant or too time-sensitive to be treated on the road.
That’s when they call HealthNet.
HealthNet Aeromedical Services is a nonprofit medical organization formed in 1986 that provides critical flights and ground transportation around the state with highly trained paramedics and pilots to ensure patient safety.
“We’re bringing a lot to the table,” said Clinton Burley, president and CEO of HealthNet.
According to Marion County Rescue Squad administrator Michael Angelucci, the MCRS primarily calls HealthNet for injuries sustained in accidents. However, HealthNet is also contacted for some heart attacks and strokes, where every second spent getting the patient to a hospital is critical.
HealthNet also does many interhospital flights, again for patients for whom time is of the essence.
On average, the helicopter based at West Virginia University’s Ruby Memorial Hospital runs between 30 and 35 flights a week, averaging four or five every day, said Dennis Wilson, an active flight-team paramedic for HealthNet.