#1 Jun 24, 2012
Can somebody please tell me what is the problem with the 911 system in this county? I would like to know why a helicopter from Abingdon, Virginia is called to pick up a victim when we have one setting here on the Wise County line outside of Pound? I was sitting at my home and I listened to a bad wreck just right outside of Pound. I heard a first responder ask for a helicopter and the dispatcher said she notified Med-flight. From the time the helicopter was called and from the time it landed was over thirty minutes. Now, I did some checking into this, and I asked a few people in the local rescue squad why they do not use the local helicopter on the Wise County line. I was told that Med-Flight is free and provided by the state. I spoke with the flight crew on the Wise County line, and they can be off the ground and any location within Wise County in about seven minutes. Now folks something stinks here. The med flight helicopter is not free, because the medical staff on that helicopter is provided by a local health facility. I was advised to check into that as well. But money should not be the issue here. If I am really hurt, do you think I care if cost a couple thousand for a helicopter. Damn, did you forget about the hospital bill? That is why we have insurance. If dispatchers are putting money over peoples lives then they need to be sued. I guess if I need an ambulance the dispatcher will by pass the nearest ambulance if they charge in order to find me one for free. It appears to me that some house cleaning is needed here in Wise County. Folks please pass this along, that the almighty dollar is more important than your life here in Wise County.
#2 Jun 24, 2012
you really think the dispatchers have free will in deciding which air rescue team to contact first ? REALLY ?!?!? if you have truely listened to the scanner any at all, you would know there are procedures for EVERYTHING, all the way down to having to rotate wrecker service requests so that no one company gets all the business .. "Dispatch, get me the next available wrecker from the list, please."
I agree the air resuce out of Jenkins ican be quicker, when it is available, but often it is not. "..a couple thousand dollars for a helicopter" ...try $1000 for EVERY MINUTE from the time the call comes in, to the time the copter is mission complete and lands back at Jenkins.
To put down the dispatchers for a decision they obviously do not have control over, is misguided. You shouuld attend the next Wise County Board of Supervisor's meeting to address your concerns.
TAKEN FROM THE A REPORT IN THE KINGSPORT TIMES - PAY PATICUALR ATTENTION TO THE LAST PARAGRAPH
"Wellmont Health System on Thursday withdrew its request for approval from Wise County officials to offer emergency helicopter services to the county.
"During Thursday’s workshop session of the Wise County Board of Supervisors, Wellmont officials announced they would pull from consideration a resolution of support for the medevac service, Wellmont One. The matter was to come up for a vote during next week’s action session.
"Wellmont’s request had been opposed by Johnson City-based Mountain States Health Alliance, MSHA-affiliated Wings Air Rescue based in Kentucky, and MSHA-affiliated health care facilities in Wise County, particularly Norton Community Hospital. The opponents said Wellmont One would be redundant and unnecessary and would cut into the cost recovery medevac pie.
"Wellmont One can provide helicopter medevac services for patients at Wellmont-affiliated facilities in Wise County such as Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap and Mountain View Regional Hospital in Norton. Wellmont does not need county approval to transport patients to and from its own facilities.
"Wellmont also is heavily invested in MedFlight II, the region’s original medevac service operated by the Virginia State Police. Wellmont invests well over $600,000 annually to staff medical personnel on the no-charge service.
"Wellmont had requested permission to operate in Wise County to add another option during emergency situations. Wellmont officials said a tornado that ripped through a section of Big Stone Gap in March left no serious injuries but was a reminder of the potential of large-scale emergencies where three medevac services would be better than two.
"Currently, dispatchers call in MedFlight II out of Washington County, Va., or Wings Air Rescue based on Jenkins Mountain in Kentucky, depending on which is closer to an emergency scene in Wise County."
#3 Jun 24, 2012
Excuse me? Both hospitals here suck, for lack of a better term. They don't give two sh+ts if someone is laying dead on the road somewhere. Maybe it is a good thing that coal is closing down in this place, so people may move to areas where they're not treated like trash.
#4 Jul 3, 2012
To: Ura Doofus,
It appears to me that you are the misguided one. First, the nearest helicopter should be called first. You are reaching about the cost being a thousand per minute. I have several friends who are flight medics, with numerous medical organizations, not just one, with the cost being around five thousand per flight. Most, not all medical helicopters are a debt. Medical agencies use them for public relations. Second, most people have insurance. Putting money over peoples lives is neglect on you and your agencies part. A charge for a helicopter ride verse the hospital bill is pocket change. Third, you mention that the helicopter out of Jenkins is not available most of the time. That is a untrue statement. That helicopter will fly in the worst weather, because their pilots have forward looking infared or (FLIR) to navigate through thick fog and clouds, and their pilots are certified to fly both IFR (instrument flight rules) and VFR (visual flight rules), so do not give me the bs. Your protocol should be the nearest helicopter no matter what. Their are helicopters based in Kentucky, and Tennessee, that can get to Wise County quicker than from Abingdon. You need to chart out the nearest helicopters. Also, do not forget that numerous other agencies in southwest Virginia use the state chopper, because it is their nearest helicopter. So, the state may be in Marion or Rural Retreat, but you still call for it though because it is free. It is only a matter of time when somebody finds out that you called a helicopter thirty minutes away or further, when another helicopter is only seven or another that is twelve minutes away. Please tell the court and jury that you called a helicopter so far away because it is free, when you have one just right up the road that charges. Next time somebody calls for an ambulance, try to find one that is free. Nearly all rescue and ems agenices in Wise County are charging for medical transports.
I do not care if another health organization brings a helicopter in to serve the people of Wise County. This area has enough trauma calls to keep both helicopters busy. In your article you quote from a newspaper that one health organization invest $600,000 towards a no charge service helicopter operated by the state. Do you really think a health organization is just going to invest $600,000 and just throw it away? They are making money every time that state helicopter flies. That is why the other organization complained. Because then they are making money from both the state and their own service.
#5 Jul 12, 2012
med flight is a free service, wings in jenkins,ky charges, it could cost thousands of dollars to get a ride from them and the wellmont one helicopter. it is a state requirement to call med flight first. med flight is funded through our tax dollars, the staff on board are employees of the state of va.
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