Air Evac holds grand opening and ribbon cutting for new Harrisbu - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Air Evac holds grand opening and ribbon cutting for new Harrisburg base

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HARRISBURG -- Thursday, folks will be able to get a personal perspective of what it's like to be an air medic.

Air Evac 138 is holding a grand opening and ribbon cutting for its new Harrisburg base next to the Medical Center.

Over the last three years, Saline County EMS and hospital officials have worked with Air Evac Lifeteam to provide Air Medical services for the community.

"We've put a lot of plans in place to provide better patient care," says Air Evac Program Director Heather Morse

Morse says last August they began using the Harrisburg-Raleigh Airport as a temporary base.

"We're blessed with great ground service around here. However, we have limited resources so we felt that there was a need in this area to bring a medical aircraft here," says Morse. 

Now, patients can be flown in and out, directly from a new hanger at the Harrisburg Medical Center, which Morse says can provide faster service.

It's equipped with one helicopter and living quarters for the four nurses, four medics, four pilots a mechanic.

"Our nurses and medics require at least three years of critical care experience. Our pilots have a certain number of hours to meet and then they all go continuously for additional training," says Morse. 

She says on average they fly one patient a day, sometimes more.

"We're predominantly an area that has coal mining, farming, a lot of motor vehicle accidents, in addition to your typical cardiac and stroke events that need to get to a higher level and need to get their quickly."

Morse says they look forward to showing off the new facility and how it can help save lives.

The grand opening will go from 11-1 p.m., Thursday, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11:15 a.m. 

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