A medical LIFE FORCE helicopter landed on Southern Adventist University’s campus this afternoon to transport a patient in critical condition. The patient was involved in a head-on vehicle collision at 9700 Standifer Gap Road, according to Nathan Lewis, the public information officer for the Tri-Community Fire Department.
The fire department was dispatched at 4:11 p.m. to aid with the aftermath of the collision, Lewis said. There were three victims and multiple injuries and entrapments. The fire units on scene worked to extricate the victims from the vehicles.
The individual in critical condition had to be transported in a helicopter by LIFE FORCE, a medical transport service belonging to the Erlanger Health System, Lewis said. The closest landing zone was on Southern’s campus in front of Brock Hall. The other two patients were transported by ground by Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency.
“LIFE FORCE, in order for them to land, they need to have an open area … free of overhead obstructions or trees or anything that could hamper them from landing,” Lewis said. “As part of our training, we identify areas all over our district [where] they can potentially land so that when we have an incident, we go to those locations first. As far as frequency, it does not happen often.”
Hamilton County is close to trauma hospitals, Lewis said, so it is usually faster to transport patients in ambulances. In some cases, like this one, air support was necessary due to the crash’s location and condition of the patient.
Lewis added that the fire department uses LIFE FORCE about two to three times a year, but it rarely uses Southern’s campus as a landing zone. In fact, the fire department does not remember using campus in the last 10 years.
The department finished extricating the patients at approximately 5:40 p.m., and all fire department and emergency medical services had cleared the scene by 6:30 p.m., according to Lewis.