FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The oldest medical helicopter program in Northeast Indiana is celebrating its 30th birthday.
Parkview Samaritan was established on November 18th 1989. In its 30 years of service, helicopter crews have flown more than 24,000 patients who needed critical medical assistance. Samaritan services a 100-mile radius of Fort Wayne and Rochester, covering the northern half of Indiana, northwest Ohio, and southwest Michigan. The program has also expanded since its inception and now has two helicopters.
On average Samaritan 1 averages two flights per day and Samaritan 2 averages one and a half. Each flight crew includes one pilot, one nurse, and one paramedic and each aircraft is equipped with medical equipment to tend to critical patient’s needs while in flight. It takes crews on average 5.6 minutes from the time a call is received by dispatch to leave the helipad.
About 51 percent of Samaritan flights are trauma-related; 40 percent of these flights are to pick up patients from the scene of injury, and 60 percent are to pick up from facilities referring patients to Parkview Regional Medical Center.
WANE 15 was there when Parkview Samaritan first took flight. Watch the original report below.
To learn more about Parkview Samaritan click here.