Thursday, October 17, 2013

Medical aviation company set to stay at Conway-Horry County Airport (KHYW), Conway, South Carolina

The medical aviation transport service, headquartered at the Conway Airport, is ready to celebrate its newest South Carolina site.

Air Methods – Air Medical Transport started flying out of the Conway airport June 18 on a month-by-month lease basis, but says it’s in Conway to stay now.

Company spokesperson Junius Frederick says the company didn’t hold a ribbon-cutting earlier because of the “busyness and craziness of the season.”

Now that things have settled down, they want to make themselves better known to the community. On Oct. 28 at 11 a.m., they’ll begin doing that with a ribbon-cutting, open house and barbecue. Everyone is invited.

Frederick said the multimillion operation uses six AS350B2 Astar helicopters that are virtually flying emergency rooms with defibrillators and other important monitors.

The Conway unit also responds to patient calls in Georgetown and Williamsburg counties and transports patients within a 150-mile radius.

The Conway company is already fully-staffed with about 16 employees, four nurses, four paramedics, four pilots, a mechanic, two part-time nurses and a medic.

“Now being in the county you will have quicker access of patients being transported to where they need to be,” Frederick said.

The company works primarily with hospitals, emergency medical services, urgent care centers, doctors’ offices – anybody who has a patient that needs to be transported.

A press release from the company says Air Methods is headquartered in Englewood, Colo., and is the most experienced air medical transport provider in the industry, flying nearly 155,000 air medical flight hours and close to 111,000 patient transports.

Frederick says the company goes back to its patients to evaluate the job it’s doing, although it doesn’t depend on patient outcome because some of its patients are so very sick.

Instead they rely on patient satisfaction, which he says is positive.

Although the company gets lots of praise, that’s not what it’s looking for, he said.

Instead they are looking to make their patients happy.

“Our pet peeve is not knowing what your need is because not knowing we can’t fix it,” he said.

Now that the company has located in Horry County, Frederick said, Horryites can count on quicker access for patients.

“We just like to give the patient the best chance possible,” he said.

Conway’s unit is the sixth in South Carolina. The others are located in Irmo, Orangeburg, Camden, Walterboro and North Charleston.

Its fleet of 400 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft serve nearly 300 bases in 48 states.

Horry County Airports marketing director Kirk Lovell said the company’s new location is obviously something good for Conway with its service to citizens and new jobs.

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