LIFE FORCE Celebrates 28 Years

December 20th, 2016

28 years ago today, LIFE FORCE transported our first patient.

An air medical service was first proposed for the Chattanooga area in 1975, but it wasn't until 1988 that Erlanger Health System launched the program. Flying a Bell 412, a large helicopter capable of transporting two patients, three flight crew members, and two pilots (although we typically didn't utilize that setup), we took off at 6:30 PM for Emerald-Hodgson Hospital (now Southern Tennessee Regional Health System Sewanee) to transport a four year-old in respiratory arrest due to a chronic lung condition aggravated by a cold.

Many things have changed since 1988, but one thing hasn't -- LIFE FORCE has always been, and will always be, committed to safely providing the highest level of critical care in the air. We thank you for supporting our program and look forward to serving our communities for many more years! 

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Congratulations to Alyssa Spirato WTVC and photographers Brent McDonald and Mikey Fuller on placing first in the Associated Press Awards for Best Serious Long News Story with their piece, "LIFE FORCE: The Golden Hour".

You may remember seeing the multi-part story last November on WTVC-TV NewsChannel 9 News. The segments showed viewers what happens when someone has a traumatic accident and LIFE FORCE transports them to Erlanger's Level One Trauma Center.

If you missed the segments, you can watch them at:
LIFE FORCE: What We Learned About the Golden Hour 
The Golden Hour: Inside a Ride with LIFE FORCE

Pictured left to right: Regena Young, from Erlanger Trauma Services who moulaged Alyssa to look like a real trauma patient, Alyssa Spirato, Reporter (and acting trauma patient), and Vanessa Guin, from Erlanger Business Development/LIFE FORCE who wrote the trauma scene script and coordinated multiple departments at Erlanger. And photo credit to Brent McDonald, who is always behind the camera.

Congratulations again to the team at NewsChannel 9 on winning an AP award, and thank you for helping tell our story.

16 year-old survives MVC, shares story

Did you know that National Trauma Survivors Day is today? In January 2015,Blake Cooper's mom, Kristy, got the call no mom wants to get -- her son had been in a car accident. Blake was flown to Erlanger Health System where Renee, one of the trauma nurses (also known as red shirts) met him on the helipad. Blake had a traumatic brain injury, among other injuries, and spent many days in a coma, many weeks in ICU, and eventually went a rehab facility.

Today, Blake, his mom, and his trauma nurse were guests on This N That to tell Blake's miraculous story and talk about National Trauma Survivors Day. See the segment below:

Happy National Trauma Survivors Day to all of the former patients we have had the privilege ofhelping through the years. You all inspire us every single day. #NTSD #TraumaSurvivorsDay