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Stand for the Silent: Medical care in the air

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In KTVO’s continued series, Stand for the Silent: A story, A moment, An impact, we’re focusing on the challenges first responders can face when responding for help in small communities.

They’re there during some of the most intense medical situations, and the nine-member med crew and three pilots who make up Air Evac Lifeteam 38, do it all aboard a helicopter.

Travis Richards is the program director at Air Evac 38.

“Our nurses, paramedics, and pilots have all felt a calling similar to nurses and paramedics we work with on the ground and in hospitals,” Richards said.

Each member of the Air Evac team has at least three years’ experience.

“We have resources for our employees, we talk to them, and we make sure that they are the best that they can be,” Richards said.

The nurses, paramedics, and pilots who board the flights all go through a CISM training that helps them deal with any kind of situations they encounter.

“It’s a peer support organization that stands for critical incident stress management team,” Richards said. “They have some training from professionals that allow them to just have somebody to talk to, and work through any issues that they may have.”

Richards says the training has helped, especially since being a paramedic in a small town can mean responding to someone they know.

“It’s a strong likelihood that we may run somebody that is a friend or family member on their worst day,” he explained. “It’s something that we’ve seen, you never get used to it, but we have the training and the tools so that they’re able to manage.”

Because first responders have a tough task to do.

“They are there to do their job, and that’s what they’re there to focus on at that point in time,” Richards said. “They still have the love and concern they have for their friend or family member, but they know they’re there to help them. Our crew is outstanding. I can’t say enough good things about them.”

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