Orlando Health Air Care Team Lands a New Leesburg Location

Orlando Health hosts open house event for new base of operation.

Orlando, FL (March 7, 2017) — The Orlando Health Air Care Team recently took flight from a new location to improve access to care for critically ill and injured patients across Central Florida. The team’s helicopter designated Air Care 2, relocated from South Lake Hospital to enhance services to Lake County and the surrounding communities. Today, an open house was held to tour the new Air Care 2 base at Leesburg International Airport, and meet members of the Air Care Team who provide swift and safe transport from scenes of incidents and during hospital transfers.

During the open house, members of the Air Care Team provided an overview of the emergency air ambulance program and provided tours of the aircraft. The event was attended by Lake County government, Emergency Medical Services and community officials, and Orlando Health team members, including the Winnie Palmer Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Transport Team.

“Expanding the specialized medical care to enhance services to areas of Lake County is part of our mission to improve the health and quality of life of the individuals and communities we serve,” said Karen Thurmond, CANM, RN, BSN, CFRN, Chief Flight Nurse, Air Care Team. “Lake County’s growing population also presents a need for greater access to care. With nearly 30 scene calls in the area each month, Lake County is one of the areas of greatest need for an air ambulance.”

The primary incidents that the Air Care Team responds to are motor vehicle crashes, falls, motorcycle crashes, all-terrain vehicle crashes and strokes.

With the relocation, the Air Care Team is able to maintain the level of responsiveness to its prior service area, while improving responsiveness to the north area of Lake County.

“Relocating expands the reach of the Air Care Team to both rural areas as well more populated areas to provide care to critically ill and injured patients more quickly,” said Rick Clow, BS PAS, PMD, Chief Flight Paramedic, Air Care Team. “Whether it’s a car crash on an interstate, a fall at a construction site, or a stroke or heart attack at home, timing is critical to providing care as efficiently as possible.”

The Orlando Health Air Care Team is Central Florida’s only hospital-based multiple aircraft flight program.
Inside each helicopter, the in-flight team consists of a flight nurse, a flight paramedic and a pilot. Stationed on the ground, the Air Care Team’s communications specialists use state-of-the-art technology to dispatch calls, track the helicopters, and share and receive information from the medical crew and ORMC’s Level One Trauma Center.

The 50 member crew of highly trained and experienced flight nurses, flight paramedics, communications specialists, pilots and mechanics provide advanced medical care on the scene and in flight. The air medical flight team is one of the highest credentialed teams in the state. Air Care Team ‘s service area encompasses a 100-mile radius that covers multiple counties across Central Florida including Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Sumter, Polk, Volusia, Brevard, Citrus, Indian River and Marion Counties.

The flight program began in October 1984 and has soared more than 2 million accident-free rescue miles, and transported more than 32,000 patients. The team began with a single twin engine helicopter located at Orlando Regional Medical Center and has grown to three twin engine helicopters across Central Florida — Osceola (Air Care 1), Lake (Air Care 2) and Seminole Counties (Air Care 3).

Air Methods, a leader in providing emergency air medical services to the health care industry for 37 years, provides the aviation services to the Air Care Team.

About Orlando Health
Orlando Health is a $2.6 billion not-for-profit health care organization and a community-based network of physician practices, hospitals, and outpatient care centers throughout Central Florida. The organization is home to the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics and is a statutory teaching hospital system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. More than 2,000 physicians have privileges at Orlando Health, which is also one of the area’s largest employers with more than 18,000 employees who serve nearly 2 million Central Florida residents and more than 4,500 international patients annually. Additionally, Orlando Health provides more than $204 million in support of community health needs. More information can be found at