SHERIDAN — Sheridan Memorial Hospital may soon have a medical air transport service on-site.
Hospital CEO Mike McCafferty told the hospital board of trustees Tuesday that they have be in discussions with Air Methods, a medical transport service with more than 300 bases nationwide, in order to get Wyoming Life Flight Services into Sheridan.
While SMH has not completed the processes to make the agreement, McCafferty said they intend to move forward with establishing a partnership.
The services provided by this program could be significant for health care in the Sheridan area, McCafferty said. Stationing a helicopter at SMH full time would allow the helicopter to be used primarily for transport by air to larger hospitals such as Casper or Billings.
Currently, in the event someone at SMH has to be transported by air, a service would have to fly into Sheridan, secure the patient, then fly back to a larger hospital. Having the resources and the staff to transport those in need already at the hospital could save anywhere between 40 and 60 minutes.
“There is a lot of benefit to the patient with this process,” McCafferty said.
Helicopter services would also be available to other areas in the region when needed — transporting patients in critical need out of places like Buffalo, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. SMH would not own the transport service and would not have any financial relationship with them.
The medical transport company would be responsible for providing a flight team — including mechanics, pilots and on-air medical staff — and would be made available for calls 24 hours a day. The crew would be based out of Sheridan and would be integrated into the SMH staff.
The volume of emergency patients is unlikely to be altered by implementation of this program, hospital officials said.