"Once they assess that patient, they determine what the needs of that patient is," said Michael Angelucci, Marion County Rescue Squad. "Does the patient need transported to a trauma center or a stroke center? Then they determine the most appropriate method for that transport."
The Marion County Rescue Squad said time is always a critical factor when responding to a scene.
"Some of our patients that live in a rural area, it will take an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes to get that patient transported to WVU," Angelucci said. "In cases of a stroke, for example, the target time to get to the facility is roughly three hours. If we have a patient that lives an hour and fifteen minutes away, that's dangerous to their well-being."
That's where HealthNet comes in.
If a situation seems time sensitive or critical, it is placed on standby until go-time.
"Standby literally means for my crews to standby, they are literally getting themselves to sit in the helicopter," said Valerie Hanlon, director of Emergency Services at WVU Healthcare. "From the time the medical director says launch, they are off the ground."
So what does it take for HealthNet to be called?
"There is protocols for the paramedics to follow," said Steve Ash craft, Flight Paramedic. "The patient has to meet that criteria to be flight worthy."
"Patients that require advanced care or require a critical care team, we utilize HealthNet for," Angelucci said. "Patients that require blood products, or advanced airway techniques or treatment that our regular health staff can't perform."
The Marion County Rescue Squad said working with HealthNet is extremely beneficial.
"We are familiar with the HealthNet crews, with the staff. Many of us work with them and the other EMS agencies," Angelucci said. "They have a very good outreach program to training and teaching our field staff when and how to utilize their service."
If you would like more information on what HealthNet aims to do, visit its web site.