Inside Medflight

RICHMOND (WRIC) – If you or a family member is ever seriously hurt and need help immediately, this is a story you want to see.

8News Senior Reporter Nate Eaton flew along with Medflight, the state run helicopter that responds to emergencies all over Central Virginia.

Here's his firsthand experience:


This is one helicopter I hope you never have to ride in.

While it may look ordinary, what happens in here means life or death.

This is Medflight. You've likely seen it in the air and heard about it on the news. But you probably haven't been inside.

Medflight's been around since 1984. State police officers are the pilots and they respond to calls all over Central Virginia.

When bad things happen, crews on the ground call Medflight.

It could be a car crash, hunting accident, someone who needs medical help now, or somebody who's lost. Within minutes, the chopper can arrive.

“Normally we'll get a landing zone briefing on the way there,” says Sgt. Shawn Rivard. “Sometimes it's adequate sometimes we need to move it or adjust it.”

Inside are two Chesterfield paramedics.

“On a given day you really don't know what you're going to get into it,” says flight paramedic Mike Abott.

There's actually three helicopters that run Medflight. The new $7 million bird is used the most. But back-ups fly too.

Medflight responds to about two calls a day depending on the month.  When crews aren't responding to medical situations, they're busy doing other things.

Because the helicopters are state owned, they provide security when the president and other dignitaries visit. State leaders also use it.

“The governor has access to the helicopter if he needs to fly somewhere then we go ahead and bring him up.”

While transporting big-wigs can be exciting, those who run Medflight say the best part of their job is helping you during some of the most traumatic experiences of your life.

“We actually get to physically see somebody pick them up in a bad state and a lot of times bring them to the hospital quick enough to get them either to the operating room or to a surgeon where they can get help.”


Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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