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(NECN: Melissa Toupin, Worcester, Mass.) -- Flying the Life Flight helicopter for UMass Memorial Medical Center is serious business.
Each flight is staffed with a pilot, flight nurse, and physician, all with one common goal - get the patient to the hospital as soon as possible.
"Between them, we offer the best critical care in the air," said Dan Meisels, Director of the UMass Memorial EMS program.
He says UMass is one of only three hospitals in the state with a flight program and completes more than 600 missions each year. And now, the hospital is introducing a brand new helicopter to help them enhance their abilities even more.
It's not just a Life Flight helicopter, but a flying ambulance that helps doctors better care for patients while en route to the hospital.
"we can do almost anything we can do in the ER in flight," said Dr. Marc Restuccia, Director of the Life Flight EMS.
He says Life Flights life this one typically care for patients with time-dependent injuries including those having a stroke, or have been in a serious crash. On board the flight team can do critical interventions while in their seats.
"We can breathe, administer drugs, monitor, all while en route. We can't even do that in a regular ambulance," said Restuccia.
Since the program began at the hospital in the early 1980s, more than 26,000 patients have been cared more mid-air.