TMH Survival Flight marks one year of life-saving emergency care

Thomas emphasized the importance of having a helicopter for rural communities.
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 7:25 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital’s Survival Flight providing helicopter access to patients in rural areas who are facing life-threatening emergencies.

“Being able to have the helicopter service to bring them here more quickly, even if we’re cutting 25 minutes 30 minutes off a transport time, can mean the difference between life and death for many people in this area,” said Emergency Services Executive Director, Kyrie Thomas.

Thomas emphasized the importance of having a helicopter for rural communities. She said many smaller counties only have one or two ambulances, making it difficult for them to transport a patient to Tallahassee.

“This really allows those ambulances to stay in those locations where they’re needed, to continue to serve the community,” said Thomas. “The helicopter can go pick that patient up, and allow that EMS service to get back into the community more quickly to serve the next patient that needs it.”

Flight nurses said during the past year, they’ve been able to save hundreds of lives. “Once you get away from the city, sometimes there’s not a whole lot of healthcare available to people,” said Robinson. “We’re able to go out and assist our communities.”

Robinson started working at TMH as a ground paramedic in the late 80s. He said he obtained his pilot’s license a few years later, and he is happy to be back in the air with Survival Flight.

“I wanted to be in healthcare and I, always, was fascinated with flying,” said Base Clinical Manager and Flight Nurse Trent Robinson. “So, to combine medicine and taking care of people with flying, to me, is the ultimate career.”