When a patient is experiencing major trauma, time is critical. The minutes it takes to get someone from the scene of an accident or medical emergency can mean the difference between life and death. To help speed the process, Ringgold County Hospital has launched a system called Simultaneous Dispatch. “When Dispatch sends out the ambulance to a scene that has the chance of having major trauma, they will also put the Life Net helicopter on standby,” explained Amy Shields AEMT, CPhT. “When we put the helicopter on standby right away, they have time to do all the safety checks, weather checks, and everything they need to do before they can take off. They get this done while the ambulance is responding.” EMS is trained to assess patients. When they arrive on the scene, they will do a quick assessment and then let dispatch know if the helicopter is needed or not. Although a helicopter is not required for every situation, having it on standby and ready to go saves precious minutes when it is required. Amy continued, “From a medical standpoint, it gets patients to the most appropriate facility faster. If you have a trauma patient with serious or multiple injuries that require surgery or other services not available here at Ringgold County Hospital, it gets them where they need to go faster.”

Calling the helicopter while the ambulance is being dispatched is now an automatic process. It’s just one more way the medical professionals at Ringgold County Hospital are improving patient services and saving lives.