Dare County EMS has announced that the department will host a Dare MedFlight open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the Duvall/Willoughby Hanger, which is located at 1078 Driftwood Drive in Manteo.
The free family friendly event is designed to give members of the Outer Banks community an opportunity to tour the Dare MedFlight helicopter, its hangar and an ambulance, and to meet crew members and learn more about the essential role they play in rapidly responding to situations that require a patient to be transported to medical facilities outside of Dare County in order to receive treatment at regional specialty centers and other hospitals.
“Dare MedFlight is a critical component in our EMS agency’s ability to rapidly transport life-threatening and other serious medical conditions that exceed the capabilities of our local hospital resources,” said Dare County EMS Director Chief Jennie Collins. “Due to our geographically remote area, reducing time to specialty centers—such as trauma, heart, burn, pediatric and other specialties—is vital to a patient’s recovery and, at times, their survivability. In addition, we can launch quickly to assist in searches for lost or missing people and have located many individuals who have accidentally gotten off course on land and in the water. We also can support law enforcement missions for searches. We are fortunate to have this resource readily available to our citizens and visitors, and we enjoy having the opportunity to let our community see it up close and understand its capabilities.”
In addition to providing tours of the helicopter, hangar and an ambulance, the open house will also feature various activities for children and adults and allow attendees to participate in question and answer sessions with Dare County EMS staff members and learn about life-saving treatments that they can perform. Refreshments will also be served during the event.
Dare MedFlight first began operating in Dare County in 1975 in an effort to ensure that all levels of medical care are accessible to residents and visitors of the Outer Banks, including rapid critical care services for patients experiencing trauma, heart attacks, burns and strokes. For nearly 50 years, Dare County has been recognized as a pioneer in providing innovative aeromedical transport services through the use of Dare MedFlight, which is one of only three county-owned primary mission aeromedical operations that exist in the entire nation.
The state-of-the-art helicopter—which represents the vision and dedication of the Dare County Board of Commissioners to provide rapid medical transportation for residents and visitors—is an Airbus H-145 that is operated by a highly skilled rotating staff of five pilots, two full-time mechanics and 12 flight paramedics. During each patient transport flight, the helicopter typically carries one pilot, two paramedics and one patient. On average, Dare MedFlight transports one patient a day, although seasonal fluctuations often occur, with the helicopter frequently flying three or four missions each day during the summer months.
By providing patients with access to the Dare MedFlight helicopter, Dare County EMS is able to drastically reduce transport times for those who are in critical need of rapid transportation for time-sensitive treatments and to help significantly improve the outcome for those patients who are transported from Dare County to a medical facility outside of the area.
For more information about Dare County EMS, visit DareNC.gov/EMS.