WellmontOne Air Transport, Sullivan County Emergency Medical Services Receive Statewide Award

Highly skilled emergency care from experienced medical professionals aboard WellmontOne Air Transport and Sullivan County Emergency Medical Services has repeatedly improved patient lives in the region and earned the respect of their peers in Tennessee.

For the third time in five years WellmontOne received the 2013 EMS Star of Life award, and it has once again been joined on the stage by Sullivan County EMS. This year's award recognized the two agencies' efforts in 2012 to save the life of a man involved in a two-vehicle wreck.

The award was recently presented in Nashville to crew members from WellmontOne and Sullivan County EMS by the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services for Children. The goal of the EMS Star of Life award is to recognize exemplary front-line care provided by agencies and providers to children and adults.

"We are honored this excellent organization has recognized the hard-working and dedicated caregivers of WellmontOne Air Transport with this award," said Anita Ashby, system director of flight services for Wellmont Health System. "We are also thrilled Sullivan County EMS is sharing in this honor. Sullivan County EMS and WellmontOne Air Transport have an excellent collaborative relationship that is focused on delivering the best care possible to our patients."

Seconds can make all the difference in survival and recovery in emergency situations, and that was the case in this wreck in Blountville in February 2012.

The injured man WelllmontOne flew had sustained an unusually high number of potentially life-threatening injuries. Realizing this was a life-and-death situation, Sullivan County EMS worked with dispatchers to enlist WellmontOne's aid.

Three minutes after WellmontOne left its base at Bristol Motor Speedway, it reached the crash victim at the scene. WellmontOne flew him to the level one trauma center at Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport in six minutes. The patient was later flown in 44 minutes to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville for specialized care.

"This was truly an amazing survival story, and the key to the successful recovery was the expeditious on-scene care from our Sullivan County paramedics as well as the brief time it took air transport to get him to the care facility he needed for his serious injuries," said Kimberly Nash, a WellmontOne flight nurse. "We are committed to delivering superior care as quickly and efficiently as possible and are pleased we can enhance the region's quality of life with our rescue personnel."