Transport helicopter headed to hospital

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - Getting to a hospital in time can mean the difference between life and death.

An air evac helicopter will be stationed at the Five Rivers Medical Center in Pocahontas starting in May.

Survival Flight 9 will be at Five Rivers Medical Center to transport patients when necessary, hospital CEO Luther Lewis told Region 8 News.

The helicopter is one of the largest in Northeast Arkansas. It can fit a paramedic, registered nurse, specialized equipment, patient and a family member.

It will be kept on a helipad at the hospital, which is just across the street from where the Survival Flight office will be located.

Lewis said it will help having the helicopter and equipment in a centralized location.

"The helicopter crew can just come on in and help get the patient ready for transport rather than us having to wait for them to get here and then get the patient ready," Lewis said. "It could easily knock off 10 to 15 minutes on a helicopter transport flight."

The helicopter will be stationed there free of charge.

Pocahontas Mayor Kary Story said the city has not signed a franchise agreement with Survival Flight, though, so other air evac companies could also operate out of Five Rivers Medical Center.

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