JeffSTAT opens helicopter hangar
Brandywine Hospital officials along with local emergency medical crews and Jefferson Health officials gathered to celebrate Monday as JeffSTAT cut the ribbon on its new helicopter hangar on hospital grounds.
At the ribbon cutting, Brandywine CEO Jeff Hunt discussed the history of air medical service at Brandywine, which started in 1983 with AeroMedix, one of the first air medical programs in southeastern Pennsylvania. The service became SkyFlight Care before being discontinued in 2011 when Brandywine’s trauma unit closed.
The JeffSTAT air ambulance was established at Brandywine in late 2014 but just now is able to occupy the hangar, which underwent several hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of renovations and code improvements, according to Hunt. The service runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Everything we’ve done is for safety,” said Guy Barber, director of JeffSTAT. “This hangar allows maintenance crews safe conditions to work on the helicopter and when the tones go off, crews are ready to go.”
The building includes meeting rooms and overnight quar-
ters for the flight crew.
Barber also pointed out that JeffSTAT is using a new 2016 helicopter at Brandywine. The Airbus H130, is owned by Air Methods, provider of over 300 operations in 48 states. Air Methods also provides and trains the helicopter pilot.
Barber said the new helicopter has flown 197 patients and that JeffSTAT has flown 554 patients since re-instituting the service at Brandywine. He pointed out that many of the flights involved bringing patients to Brandywine for advanced care.
At the ribbon cutting JeffSTAT officials presented Hunt with a model replica of the helicopter.
A unique aspect of the new air ambulance is patient positioning. The Airbus positions the patient in the front of the helicopter, feet first next to the pilot. A nurse and paramedic sit in the middle of the helicopter at the patient’s head.
“It took a little adjustment, but I like it,” said flight nurse Larry Hepp when asked about the patient placement. Hepp has been a nurse on the helicopter for three years.
“Patients actually like it,” said pilot Jim Plzak, “Coming in to land they get a great view.”
Barber thanked the Chester County and the local emergency medical and fires for their assistance in getting the program running. Among the EMS units in attendance were, Brandywine Hospital paramedics, Westwood, Coatesville VA and Washington Hose Company.
Guy Barber, director of JeffSTAT, speaks at the helicopter hangar dedication at Brandywine Hospital on Monday.
Pilot Jim Plzak demonstrates patient loading to Brandywine RN Cathy Case.
Cutting the ribbon on the new JeffSTAT helicopter hanger are; Guy Barber, program director, John Roussis, physician liaison, Brandywine CEO Jeff Hunt, Amy Meehan, director of emergency services at Brandywine Hospital, Ray Birkmire, base supervisor, Paul Paulson, vice president at Air Methods, Bernie Reynolds, aviation director at Air Methods, Leo Scaccia RN, and Brian Sweeney, vice president at Jefferson Hospital.
Brandywine Hospital officials along with local emergency medical crews and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital officials turned out Monday to celebrate as JeffStat cut the ribbon on its new helicopter hangar at Brandywine Hospital Monday.
Brandywine Hospital CEO Jeff Hunt speaks at the JeffSTAT helicopter hangar dedication at Brandywine Hospital Monday.