Working Together to Improve Medical Care

9 Sep 2013

Community News

Fremont Area Medical Center


FREMONT, NE – September 6, 2013:  Medical helicopters already get high grades for saving lives in an emergency. Now Alegent Creighton Health University Medical Center (CUMC), Fremont Area Medical Center (FAMC) and the LifeNet Air Medical Services transport program are working together to improve emergency air transport times for people suffering from critical medical conditions. 


Effective September 9, the LifeNet Air Medical Services helicopter will be based in Fremont, Nebraska. Analysis of patient origin for helicopter transports outside of the Omaha area demonstrated an opportunity to enhance care for patients originating from northwest of Douglas County if a helicopter base could be relocated to the Fremont area. 


“LifeNet is pleased to partner with both medical centers to enhance access to critical care transport for the citizens of this area,” said Chris Burns, Air Methods regional vice president. “Patient transport data for the last two years showed the majority of transports originated from this area so it made sense to relocate the aircraft to be closer to the patients. In addition, this aircraft will be operational 24 hours a day instead of only 12 hours, which further improves access for the community.”


According to Pat Callaway, Emergency Department Director at Fremont Area Medical Center, “The relocation of a medical helicopter to Fremont has the potential to improve outcomes for patients requiring air transportation to Omaha with life threatening injuries or illnesses. Being the only emergency department in Dodge County, this is a tremendous opportunity for the Fremont area to build upon an already strong network of emergency response providers.” 


Keith Clancy, M.D., medical director of the Level I Trauma Center at CUMC said, “Thanks to the collaboration between the leadership of CUMC, LifeNet Air Medical Services and FAMC, moving LifeNet Air Medical Services’ base station to Fremont could make the difference between a good or bad outcome for a person who has had a trauma, such as a car or farming accident, by receiving medical care 15 to 20 minutes sooner.” 


“LifeNet Air Medical Services serves as a mobile emergency room with equipment and staff that enable life-saving care of virtually any and all patients and conditions. Having LifeNet Air Medical Services based in Fremont will allow an even quicker response to a scene or Emergency Department in the area, providing or continuing needed patient monitoring and care until they are able to arrive at the receiving hospital,” says Dr. Brian Cunningham, Emergency Department Medical Director at Fremont Area Medical Center.


The LifeNet Air Medical Services program has been in existence in the Omaha area since 1979.  LifeNet Air Medical Services is staffed with a nurse, paramedic, and a pilot. Staff are fully qualified and experienced in critical care transport. Flight teams are required to have at least three years of experience in a hospital critical care/emergency setting or a busy 911 system, in addition to a variety of advanced trauma courses and certifications. LifeNet is owned and operated by Air Methods, the nation’s leading provider of air medical transport and the most experienced air medical operator in the industry.


Service for patients in Iowa and areas to the south and east will remain unchanged. A second medical helicopter being used in the Omaha area will remain in its current location.