When accidents happen or someone is severely ill, time is of the essence. A new service in Bonifay could save lives.
If you were involved in a serious accident in the Bonifay area and needed immediate emergency trauma care, you would be in a serious situation. That is until this week when Doctors Memorial Hospital of Perry set up a new air ambulance service in Bonifay.
Allie Cumbie, an Air Medic, says, "Cardiac monitors, IV pumps, medications, anything that you would have in the back of an ambulance, it's like having an ER in the air."
The emergency transport service kicked off Monday and had its ribbon cutting Wednesday at its home base at the Tri-County Airport just north of Bonifay.
Marty Tompkins says, "We hope to cover a broad service area, Washington, Holmes, some of Walton, some of Alabama."
The chopper staffed with two paramedics and a pilot will allow patients to be taken from the scene to a hospital in situations where time is critical.
Although there are other air ambulance services covering the panhandle, Doctors Memorial Hospital and CJ Systems Aviation Group say the skies won't be crowded.
Richard Melis says, "We did a demographic study about a year ago and decided the population disbursal in this area could withstand having an additional air medic helicopter service."
The chopper crew actually lives at the airport property, so they can be in the air in a moment's notice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This is CJ Systems’ third medical air medic program in northwest Florida. Their other two are located in Perry and Quincy.