ALTUS, OK (KSWO) - A first for residents in Jackson County today as they now have a full-time, medical helicopter stationed at Jackson County Memorial Hospital.
They've had access to a medical helicopter in the past but now, Survival Flight will have the chopper stationed at the hospital at all times.
The helicopter will be partially used to serve patients at Jackson County Memorial Hospital needing treatment they cannot offer at the hospital.
"I think it's very helpful to the community because of the accessibility. To get people out here when we need to get them out of here to get them to a bigger hospital. For example for heart care, if we need to get someone with a Stemi to the cath lab quickly, we can do that," said President and CEO of Jackson County Memorial Hospital, Steve Hartgraves.
The helicopter will also respond to emergency situations, such as car crashes, across the county.
"I think it's vitally important, especially if you're in a remote location and something tragic happens, I think it's good that people in this community can know for sure that we have a way to get to them quickly and get them to the care they need, whether it's here or somewhere else," Hartgraves said.
The helicopter will be able to take patients to Oklahoma City in less than an hour and to Lawton in just about 20 minutes. But they say they are particularly proud of how quickly they'll be able to respond within the county.
"Our response times to our local community areas, we can get anywhere in the county within 10 minutes. That greatly reduces their response time than if it was coming from Oklahoma City," said Survivor Flight Clinical Base Manager Shannon Wille.