Mercy Flights Incorporated
Core Values and Commitment to Those We Serve
Back in 1949 George Milligan, a local air traffic controller, and many other caring residents of southern Oregon saw their friends and neighbors getting sick or injured and some even dying because they were not able to get advanced medical care quickly enough. Flying a patient to needed medical care was seen as a way to reduce transport times and so Mercy Flights was born as the first private, non-profit Air Ambulance service in the United States.
The goal our founders set and our entire Staff, Management, and Board of Directors remains committed to remains the same: To have our thoroughly trained staff provide prompt, compassionate medical transports to local residents when they are in need.
Caring Customer Service:
Cindy Broadwater appreciates the value of Mercy Flight’s services. Her son was in a serious accident and was in extreme pain. Cindy was faced with urgent transportation decisions and the Mercy Flight team helped her stay calm and focused throughout. Cindy explains, “Mercy Flights not only provided prompt medical attention to my son, they were comforting and supportive to me as the mother.”
Gabrielle, one of our ground Paramedics, treats her patient at the scene, but does not forget that the patient’s family and possibly friends are also her clients. “We want to be sure that the family has all the information they need. They may have to drive to the hospital the patient is being taken to and need directions. Children may need to be cared for and either we help arrange it or our Field Supervisor takes over assisting if we have to leave for the hospital immediately.”
Safety for the Staff, Patients, and Public:
Our planes and helicopter are flown by highly experienced pilots familiar with our local terrain and local weather potentials. Our helicopter does not respond in severe weather conditions and the pilot can abort if conditions deteriorate to an unsafe condition while in route. Both our planes are instrument flight rule (IFR) equipped and have on-board weather radar to assist with evaluating conditions as they develop. A satellite-dependent weather reporting and forecasting system is available for pilots to use in flight pre-planning. Our dispatchers also have weather information accessible at all times to assist in providing assistance to the pilots also.
Our planes fly with two pilots at all times and our helicopter has one pilot. Our medical flight crews consist of a specialty trained, experienced flight registered nurses and flight paramedics. On our helicopter, the flight team assists the pilot as needed during landing and takeoff. These extra sets of eyes and experience significantly increase our safety level.
We provide field training sessions for First Responders and ambulance providers in our outlying service areas. They learn what is required to have a safe helicopter landing zone and efficient patient transfer procedures.. It is important for ground ambulance providers to know that our helicopter can be in the Klamath Falls area in less than 30 minutes, land safely, and airlift their patient to the appropriate referral hospital with advanced medical care while in route..
Premium Medical Treatment and Transport at a Reasonable Cost:
Cindy Broadwater says that experience last spring made her a believer in the Mercy Flight’s membership program. Once she realized the cost implications of emergency transportation she saw the tremendous value of paying a small annual membership fee. Cindy said, “Now I enjoy peace of mind. I know if a member of my family needs emergency transportation they will be well taken care of and I won’t have any underlying worries about the financial impact of my decision.”
As health care costs continue to rise and we are all faced with difficult economic times. Mercy Flights continues to operate as a non-profit medical transport organization. Even though we get no tax funds, we are able to provide our communities with top notch care at a reasonable cost. Not only are our fees for services significantly lower than many for-profit air services out there, but our membership program assists even more by helping to offset out of pocket expenses a patient would normally have to pay.
We have agreements with the Ashland and Rogue River Fire Districts, and American Medical Response in Josephine County. They honor Mercy Flights ground memberships, just like you are a member of their programs. We, in turn, honor those agencies’ ground memberships.
As a Customer Service Rep for Regence Blue Cross, Jeff Blankenhorn knew the value of Mercy Flight’s services. In August of 2008 that value took on a whole new meaning when he was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. He was very impressed by the outstanding care he received from Mercy Flights’ personnel. Jeff appreciates the caution they displayed before removing his helmet and the care they showed for his fractured right shoulder when moving him from the middle of the street. Jeff concludes, “Mercy Flights has always provided my mother and me with rapid and professional care.”
This type of feedback tells us that our ongoing training program truly benefits our patients. We continuously work to improve our training program because we want to provide our patients with the best possible treatment available. This includes utilizing a state-of-the-art patient simulator for training and skills review.