AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE ALREADY HAS AIR LIFTED 202 PEOPLE IN 2017
On Sunday evening, Monroe County’s Trauma Star air ambulance service had the busiest day in its history.
In just a four-hour period, Trauma Star responded to two vehicle accidents 53 miles apart and a stabbing, transporting five people to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. A sixth person was air lifted by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Air Rescue.
As of March 26, Trauma Star’s two medically equipped helicopters – which can carry up to two people – already have transported 202 people in 2017: 72 in January, 49 in February and 81 so far in March. Of these 202 cases, 50 involved picking up victims in the field as opposed to a Keys hospital. The breakdown of the 50 field transports: 38 trauma, 7 heart attacks and 5 strokes.
“The Trauma Star program always is busy during peak tourist season in the Keys, but this year already is proving to be exceptionally busy,” said Monroe County Fire Rescue’s Andrea Thompson, Captain of Trauma Star and Emergency Medical Services. “We have our second helicopter in operation for a daily 12-hour shift to ensure our community has this life-saving service when it is needed.”
Sunday’s busy night began at 6 p.m. when Trauma Star 1 (the program’s newer helicopter purchased last year) responded to a motorcycle accident on Sugarloaf Key. The 43-year-old male driver and 29-year-old female passenger — both of Key West — were air lifted to Miami. They are both is serious, but stable condition, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
At about 7:15 p.m., Trauma Star got its second call of the night. This time, there was a head-on collision near just south of miler marker 70 on U.S. 1 on Long Key. Three people in the crash needed to be air lifted: a 42-year-old male and 37-year-old female, both from Georgia, and a 27-year-old female from Miami. Trauma Star 2 (the program’s second helicopter) transported two of the victims and Miami-Dade’s Air Rescue helicopter transported the third. All were in serious but stable condition, according to FHP.
Trauma Star 1 was returning to the Keys from Ryder Trauma Center when it got another call at about 9:55 p.m. to transport a male stabbing victim, in his 20s, from Big Pine Key. Monroe County Fire Rescue transported the victim to Trauma Star’s Marathon headquarters, where patient care was transferred to Trauma Star 1, which took him to Ryder Trauma Center.
“A day like Sunday shows how important Trauma Star is to the residents and visitors of the Florida Keys,” Thompson said. “I want to thank our flight crews for doing such an amazing job.”
Trauma Star is a joint operation of Monroe County Fire Rescue and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Each helicopter crew consists of a pilot, flight medic and flight nurse.