• Holiday season among busiest time for Life Flight

    By: Scott McDonnell

    Updated:

    WORCESTER, Mass. - With packed roads and clogged interstates, emergencies can be extra challenging for first responders this week. But there is one way to fly above the traffic and get patients the lifesaving care they need. 

    Life Flight can cover over a million miles. From the helipad at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Life Flight can be in a place like Cape Cod in 30 minutes. 

    "We can be landing on 495 somewhere, we can be landing on Mount Monadnock ...who knows."

    For Life Flight crews, missions can pick up during the holidays.

    "For people who are driving aggressively this time of year... driving to grandmas... and if you don’t make good decisions and get into an accident, you’re gonna meet me," said John Foustoukis, Life Flight nurse.

    More people, more problems.

    "We go out into scenes that are very chaotic, lots of traffic lots of people traveling on the roads....lots of people coming together on the holidays to be with family to be with friends. The goal for Life Flight is to get in and out of a scene quickly," said John Broach, Medical Director, UMass Life Flights.

    Getting patients oxygen in the air is critical. At UMass Memorial, they've developed technology to deliver high flow oxygen mid-flight, which can be a challenge.

    "We did a lot of work with Life Flight, and we collaborated to put this effort together and get the right equipment in place for the right time," said Luanne Hills, Manager Respiratory Care.

    "We fly all around New England. We are there we the resource for everybody in this community."

    >> Related: New facility helps Medflight paramedics train for various patient situations

    Next Up: