LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- As the temperatures warm up, more accidents are likely to increase now that people are out and about. And with June being Safety Awareness Month, one local medical helicopter crew is preparing for a busy summer.
Survival Flight teamed up with Comanche County Memorial Hospital back in December. And it has no doubt been utilized since it’s been in service.
“With the number of flights that we’ve had from people we’ve been able to help here in Oklahoma that having us here especially as we move into the summer time, as you get more people out and about, more car accidents, motorcycles are out now. Getting those patients with traumatic injuries to the hospital as quickly as possible saves lives,” said Scott Dunn, the Survival Flight Medical Director.
Scott Dunn is the medical director for Survival Flight. Currently they have 11 bases up and running across several states, and the one at the Drewry Family Emergency Center is the only one in Oklahoma. Dunn says there was a need for Survival Flight in the area.
“Here in Oklahoma, there’s a lot of wide open spaces. To go by ground by ambulance, would take a long time to get someone to the hospital. So, we are able to go out very quickly, land, load the patients very quickly, and fly them without traffic, without stop lights, without any of that, and get them to a hospital as quickly as possible.”
“It’s a great service to have, you can’t beat it.” Stephanie Drewry, whose family the Emergency Room is named after, was able to go up in the helicopter. She says she felt very safe, and it brought her back to when she used to be a transport nurse. “It was great, the pilot was great. And I loved it.”
Ryan Sand, is one of the flight paramedics and the Base clinical manager for survival flight at the Drewry Family Emergency Center, says they have a crew available 24-7.
“We’d rather be on the scene and not needed, then be sitting on a helipad when someone needs us,” said Sand.
Sand says trauma is almost 100 percent preventable, and with accidents increasing in the summer time, practicing good safety could save a life.
“Don’t drink and drive your ATV. Don’t drink and drive anything. Don’t drink and go on a boat. I think that’s one of the biggest things that not only are you in risk of injuring yourself, but you’re in risk of injuring someone else…Be safe around water, wear life vests on the boat. I know a lot of people don’t want to wear life vests when they go out on the lake, but that can save someone’s life. And if you’re going out hiking, pick your path, know where you’re going, take enough water. Make sure, you’re not trying to jump from boulder to boulder in the refuge if you’re not sure if you can make that jump.”
Survival Flight also assists in training the surrounding ambulance and fire services on safe operations around the aircraft.
In other health news, Lawton’s 6th Annual Tomato Festival is on July 8th from 8:00 a.m. to noon at the Great Plains Coliseum. The Festival is free. All entries for the competitions should be brought in by 9:00 that morning to be registered. Judging begins at 9:30, and the awards will be given out at 10:00 a.m. If you are entering a salsa, you must bring at least 12 ounces for tasting. For more information, or to become a sponsor you can call 580-365-4256.
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