IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A new agreement between Air Idaho Rescue and Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center will clear the path for a new air medical service base in Idaho Falls.
Air Methods, which operates Air Idaho Rescue, said the base will provide medical services to Bonneville, Bingham, Jefferson, Butte, Madison, Caribou, Bannock and Fremont Counties, as well as other surrounding communities. In particular, they said, it will support NICU patients in cooperation with EIRMC's NICU transport team.
As part of the move, Air Methods will move its Air Idaho Rescue Air 5-A Star aircraft from Soda Springs to Idaho Falls. The company will continue to cover the Caribou County service area with the Idaho Falls base and other Air Idaho Rescue air medical rotor-wing and fixed-wing aircraft.
"Having access to air medical services is incredibly important to our community, and is a key initiative for our organization," said David Hoffenberg, Chief Operating Office of Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. "As the largest medical facility in the region and the region's healthcare hub, we serve many rural areas that require air medical services to address emergencies and save lives. Serving Southeast Idaho, western Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park and parts of Montana, our partnership with Air Idaho Rescue is an integral element to the care we provide to both residents and tourists."
EIRMC officials said there is a growing need to more rapidly serve the area with advanced medical service. According to EIRMC, the hospital offers the state's only Burn Center; the region's only Level I Intensive Care Unit, Level III Neonatal Intensive Care, and Pediatric Intensive Care units; and the region's only Joint Commission Certified "Primary Stroke Center" and Behavioral Health Center.
"In emergency situations that we are called to, minutes can be the differences between life and death," said Air Methods area manager Mike Jenkins. "We are excited to partner with EIRMC to service Southeastern Idaho and the surrounding areas to ensure emergency medical care is accessible to everyone in these communities. We would also like to thank Caribou Memorial Hospital for their valued partnership and look forward to continued service to the residents of Caribou County and the surrounding areas."