Chattanooga,Tenn.– Erlanger Health System’s air medical program, LIFE FORCE, has received a three-year accreditation for achieving high priority in patient care and safety from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS).
As of July 15, 148 accredited medical services are through CAMTS. LIFE FORCE is one of three air medical services inTennesseethat has completed this process by demonstrating overall quality of service consistent with the essential elements of accreditation standards and the professional judgment of the board.
“I am proud of LIFE FORCE for achieving full CAMTS accreditation,” said Roger Forgey, Chief Administrative Officer for Erlanger Health System. “Programs that volunteer for these extensive reviews are at the forefront of this business for quality and safety. We are continuing to make every effort to assure we maintain the highest standards. That is the commitment we share with our partners at Med-Trans Corporation and one that we have maintained through 23 years of service to our region and more than 33,000 flights.”
In 2008, Erlanger’s LIFE FORCE formed a partnership with Med-Trans Corporation to manage the operations and maintenance of the helicopter fleet. Erlanger continues to provide the same medical services since the beginning of the air medical program in 1988.
“LIFE FORCE is recognized as a leader in the air medical industry and the program is sure to continue with that success,” said Fred Buttrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Med-Trans Corporation. “The CAMTS accreditation reinforces the program’s high standards, focused on aviation safety and patient care. Receiving the accreditation validates the overall commitment of the program, providing patients, as well as the healthcare partners that refer them to Erlanger and LIFE FORCE with outstanding patient care and the highest safety standards.”
LIFE FORCE has four helicopter bases:Chattanooga,Tenn.,Sparta,Tenn.,McCaysville,Ga.andCalhoun,Ga. Headquarters for the air medical services and communications center is located at the Erlanger Baroness Campus in downtownChattanooga,Tenn.
The crew is comprised of a pilot, flight nurse and flight paramedic at each base. The support team for the program also consists of communication specialists, aviation and maintenance technicians and an educational, outreach and leadership team. The newest technological advances in aviation are incorporated into the program as well to insure the safety of flights. LIFE FORCE implemented the world’s first non-precision GPS helicopter approach to provide more safety during inclement weather and each helicopter is also equipped with night vision goggles to assist the pilots with night vision and guide the aircraft during approaches and takeoffs.
The four helicopters are currently averaging 2,000 flights annually. Trauma accounts for approximately 49% of all patient flights, and 58% of LIFE FORCE missions are direct to the scene of an accident.
Med-Trans Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a leading provider of air ambulance programs in selected locations throughout the United States, focused on establishing partnerships with leading hospital systems, medical centers and EMS agencies to provide customized air medical programs through specialized delivery formats, including alternative delivery models, community based models or traditional hospital-based models. The company’s extensive fleet delivers teams of highly trained medical and flight professionals to patients requiring emergency medical care and transports the patient to the appropriate medical facility.