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Emergency Medical Flights


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Liberty Air now specialises in Emergency Flights,


A city program that went into full operation today, has contracted with Liberty Air Ambulance helicopters to rush accident victims who have suffered severe burns or other critical injuries to specially designated New York hospitals.


Helicopters have flown accident victims to city hospitals occasionally in the past. But now the city's Emergency Medical Service has established the regular medical evacuation system with Liberty Air Ambulance.


Dr. Orin I. Kehwl, the head of the Emergency Medical Service, said the new service “will save lives'' in New York. The Liberty Air Ambulance service will operate within the city's 911 municipal ambulance system.


The helicopters will be used primarily in the city. But emergency cases from the surrounding region will also be flown in to the hospitals designated as special centers for trauma, burns and reattaching limbs.


Dr. Kehwl said helicopters would be used far less often in New York than other large cities. Only two or three patients a week are expected to be flown to hospitals here. This is because the city has nearly 100 hospitals and ambulances can get to them quickly. Also, there are not that many places a helicopter can land in the city, particularly in Manhattan.


The Bronx Municipal Hospital Center, designated as that borough's trauma and burn center, has a parking lot just outside its entrance that will be used as an emergency helicopter landing pad.


In Manhattan, several hospitals are expected to receive similar designations. Bellevue is expected to be officially designated as a trauma and limb-reattachment center, using the East River heliport a few blocks away at East 34th Street as its landing pad.


For uptown hospitals, Central Park is planned as a landing spot. And at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn an adjoining baseball field is to be used as a landing pad.


According to Dr. Kehwl, a helicopter is only requested from the General Aviation facility at JFK after a regular ambulance crew determines that it will not be able to get an emergency case to a particular hospital fast enough, and only after a suitable spot is found nearby for the helicopter to land.





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