Office Of Public Affairs

AirMed Honored for Outstanding Service

Jun 2, 2008 4:00 PM

Last winter, University Health Care’s AirMed responded to a call that seemed, at first, like a routine mission. Looking back, however, it’s an incident the crew will not soon forget.

When the flight team arrived on scene, they found a 13-year-old who had been trapped under the snow by an avalanche for nearly 30 minutes, resulting in severe hypothermia. AirMed Program Manager Brian Simpson, R.N., B.S.N., said if not for the immediate response of everyone involved, including the local ski patrol, the boy may not have lived to be the athletic teen he is now.

The crew’s quick response and dedicated service that day earned them the award for Pediatric Incident of the Year from the Utah Department of Health Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. During the awards banquet on May 19, the boy met the people who saved his life, which “was really neat,” Simpson said, smiling.

AirMed received a total of three awards from the state this year. When asked about the recognition his team received this year and in years past, Simpson fights the urge to say “we’re just doing our jobs.” Instead of using the humble cliché to explain the crew’s achievements, Simpson described all that goes into a job well done.

“We all like to say it’s just another day at the office, but in reality it’s so much more than that,” he said. “It’s good people doing great things: the dispatchers, the flight crew, the mechanics working behind the scenes. Everybody comes together at the right moment to makes these things happen.”

AirMed also took home the awards for Outstanding Response in a Specific Incident for successfully transporting an injured search volunteer from the Crandall Canyon Mine and for Outstanding Search and Rescue Incident after responding to another avalanche call on Christmas Day 2007.

“It’s a real honor to be recognized by your peers,” Simpson said, “but it’s an even greater honor to help people and save lives.”      

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