MedFlight: 20 Years and Counting!

By Tom Allenstein, President and Chief Executive Officer

This past April marked MedFlight’s 20th anniversary of serving Ohio!  Entering this milestone gives us a time to reflect on all that has been accomplished since our two founding helicopter organizations, OSU SkyMed and GrantLifeFlight, merged in 1995.

Since that merger, we have seen expansion, contraction and changes in response to the needs of the communities we serve….

  • We’ve seen the addition of Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICUs) to complement our helicopter fleet.
  • We were invited into new markets outside of Central Ohio, including Akron and Cleveland, and we grew into eastern, southern, western, and northern Ohio.
  • We added helicopters to serve our requestors better, with a total of 10 now based across Ohio.
  • We entered into the 911 service arena, assisting Coshocton County EMS for nearly 10 years. We now fill service voids with MedCare, our own ALS/BLS ambulance service partnership.
  • We developed our MedComm Communications Center to meet the need for highly professionalized dispatching needs across Ohio. MedComm has grown to also serve air medical transport programs in Indiana and West Virginia.
  • Our education programs have grown to provide advanced training to thousands of paramedics, nurses and EMS workers across Ohio.
  • We’ve seen the addition and then subsequent subtraction of a regional/national fixed-wing program, so we could better focus our assets in Ohio.
  • We adopted the single-engine EC 130 helicopter fleet-wide, and entered into a new helicopter service partnership with Metro Aviation, Inc. This standardization increases safety, conserves precious healthcare dollars and positions us responsibly for the future.

Successfully executing our mission requires that we continuously earn and keep the trust of local firefighters, EMTs, law enforcement, hospital staff and the patients they serve. This trust has been validated by our daily work and our award-winning operations. In 2014 MedFlight was recognized as Program of the Year by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS). In 2012 we received the Vision Zero Safety Award , the highest industry award for air and ground critical care safety. Both awards are a testament to the dedication of the crewmembers, communicators, administrators and partner vendors that make up MedFlight.

To say the last 20 years have been an “up and down ride” would be an understatement. However, MedFlight has always responded to the ever-changing healthcare transport environment with an eye on excellence and professionalism, and we will continue to seek out new service opportunities that support our Patients Firstmission.

Long-time MedFlight Chief Operating Officer Tom Allenstein was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer upon the retirement of former President and CEO Rod Crane in December 2014.

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