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CareFlight Celebrates 25 Years of Service to the Region

DAYTON, OHIO—September 15, 2008 — Miami Valley Hospital’s air ambulance, CareFlight, is marking its 25th anniversary with a community celebration Sunday, Sept. 28, from 1-5 p.m. at Bonnybrook Farms on State Route 132 in Clarksville.

Emergency medical personnel, past patients and the public are invited to attend the event.

“Over the past 25 years, CareFlight has flown hundreds critically ill and injured patients,” says Candy Skidmore, RN, director of CareFlight Air and Mobile Services. “This is our way of saying thanks to those we have served.”

During its first year in operation, CareFlight made 254 flights.

“When you compare that number to the nearly 2,000 flights we made last year,  you can see how much we have grown and how many lives we have touched,” Skidmore said.

The CareFlight program began with one helicopter. Now the fleet includes three air ambulances and three ground Mobile Intensive Care Units. The program operates out of three bases: one at the hospital’s main campus, one at Grimes Field in Urbana and one at the Warren County Airport in Lebanon.

“Most of our trips are within 75 miles of the hospital, although our service area is a 150-mile radius,” Skidmore says. “Many of our patients are victims of vehicular accidents, but CareFlight is called to the scene of many other injuries including farming and construction accidents, injuries from boating and to the scene of snow skiing accidents.”

Because CareFlight helicopters are capable of flying at a speed of 165 to 180 mph, patients can get to an emergency department much faster than ground transportation.

In 1997, CareFlight introduced its first Mobile Intensive Care Unit, a ground base unit that provides treatment to injured patients who may not warrant the speed of an aircraft. These units function as an emergency department on wheels.  Each vehicle is designed to provide specialized emergency care to patients with a variety of serious illnesses or medical conditions.

The community is invited to meet crew members of CareFlight Air and Mobile Services and get an up close look at both CareFlight and the Mobile Intensive Care Unit at the  anniversary celebration. Other family activities at the celebration will include hayrides and pony rides, fishing, a corn maze, music and refreshments. All activities are free.

For more information about CareFlight’s celebration go the Miami Valley Hospital’s web site www.miamivalleyhospital.org.