ETMC's Air 1 program is approaching a milestone with 30 years of service in East Texas. The first flight was December 1985 with a transport of a burn patient to Dallas.

ETMC Air 1 has transported victims of car accidents and cardiac and stroke patients, as well as assisting in helping find a lost child in the piney woods.

"Air 1 is especially beneficial to our rural areas and when critically ill patients need to get to the hospital right away," said program director Kelly Cox.

The ETMC Regional Trauma System has a fleet of three ETMC Air 1 emergency helicopters stationed throughout the region including Tyler, Athens and Mount Pleasant.

This allows ETMC to transport residents within 60,000 square miles of the surrounding areas.

The fleet is composed of three EC-135 helicopters that are teamed with a pilot, nurse and paramedic. Each aircraft is staffed 24 hours, seven days a week.

ETMC Air 1 is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Air Medical Transport Services.

"Safety is the focus every time we fly and our goal is to complete each mission without any issues," Cox said. "I am so proud of our team and the countless lives we have saved over the past 30 years. We look forward to continuing to bring excellent patient care to the people of East Texas."

ETMC Air 1 partners with Metro Aviation, Inc., a pioneer in the air ambulance industry.

-Coshandra Dillard

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