LifeFlight made over 3 dozen trips Memorial Day weekend - WKRN News 2

LifeFlight made over 3 dozen trips Memorial Day weekend

Posted: Updated: May 26, 2014 05:47 PM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt’s LifeFlight Air Ambulance service has transported 40 patients since the Memorial Day Holiday weekend started Friday.

LifeFlight officials predict they will transport around 60 more patients by the end of the weekend.

In 2013, LifeFlight transported 60 patients. In 2012, LifeFlight had a record number of transports during the holiday weekend with 90 flights, the most ever in the transport service's 30 years.

During the summer, outdoor activities lead to an increase in the number of traumatic events that happen requiring LifeFlight to respond.

“Motorcycle crashes, ATV accidents, high speed motor vehicle accidents are what we typically see more of,” Medical Director of the Trauma Department Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui said. “Drive safe, wear a helmet, wear a seat belt and stay within the road rules.”

LifeFlight has five helicopters stationed at bases around Middle Tennessee. The helicopters usually respond to calls within a 70 mile radius of their home bases.

The ambulance service can be especially vital in rural and outlying areas of the region.

“When you live in a place like Wayne County, Lawrence County or Rutherford County, especially when traffic is bad, you have a significant amount of time to get to the trauma center,” Flight Nurse Tim Hurst said. “We can get to them, bring the services of Vanderbilt to the scene, start treatment and get them back to the trauma center pretty quickly.”

Hurst has been flying with LifeFlight for more than 17 years.

“Our first priority is safety because if we hurt ourselves or somebody else on the ground we can't help the patient,” he said.

The flight nurses do not always get to meet the patients who survive their medical emergency, but when they do, Hurst said it makes the tough days at work worth the commitment.

“I can come to work every day and have the opportunity to help someone, so that is a very rewarding thing,” he said.

This year, LifeFlight celebrates 30 years of service and 30 years of flight without an accident.
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