Staff for Life Celebrates a 30-Year History

4 years 3 months 2 weeks ago November 02, 2012 Nov 2, 2012 Friday, November 02 2012 Friday, November 02, 2012 4:59:00 PM CDT in News
By: Jessi Turnure
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - The Staff for Life Helicopter Service celebrated a milestone this week--30 years of service in Missouri. It has transported more than 30,000 patients during its three decades of service.

"Patients have been beating daunting odds to survive life threatening traumas and illnesses...thanks to this service," chief executive director of University of Missouri Health Care James Ross said.

Dr. Frank L. Mitchell Jr. founded the program in 1982 while serving as a trauma surgeon at University Hospital. The service began with one helicopter, four medical flight crew members and University Hospital as the single operations location. However, three years later in April 1985, the service expanded to a second permanent location at Lake Ozark General Hospital. During the next decade, the program established a third base at La Monte near Sedalia, upgraded its helicopter models twice and became one of the few programs in the country to carry life-saving blood products on board each aircraft.

Since then, Staff for Life has accumulated a 30-person medical flight crew and added more features to each aircraft, such as night vision goggles, ultrasound machines and mini laboratories.

Mitchell's co-director of the Staff for Life Helicopter service said, in addition to technology, team work is also essential. "In reality, if you're not injured inside Columbia, the likelihood that you're going to arrive to a hospital in one hour is pretty low. It takes sometimes two to three hours for a helicopter to arrive after being notified. The care the folks receive on-ground before they see us is important," Dr. Jeffrey Coughenour said.

The service welcomed its most recent addition Oct. 31-- a new McDonnell Douglas MD902 helicopter to replace the old BK 117 helicopter. The new helicopter is tiger-striped with a larger cabin space for more medical equipment and technological updates, such as night vision, autopilot, an in-flight cardiac monitor and mobile blood testing.

The hospital said the new helicopter will be safer and quieter than any helicopter in service.

"This is one of the things that makes me most proud of our service...that we're going to constantly push the envelope and have the things and effectively use the things that are becoming a common place in pre-hospital medicine," Coughenour said.

Coughenour said our country's history has also impacted the service's history. "Vietnam was probably the last big advance in care until now," Dr. Jeffrey Coughenour said. "Right now there's obviously a lot of different things changing in the way we take care of patients. It's a neat time to be involved in care of the injured...there's a lot of things that we have improved upon...the way you've always done it is not always the best."

Coughenour said he and his staff have looked at the technological advances used in Iraq and Afghanistan and tried to implement them into their practice.

"If you look forward at the next six months, it's going to be a lot of getting used to the skin we're in now. When you look at the next five to ten years, who knows. There's continually new advances coming out of trauma care."

The Staff for Life Helicopter Service responds to more than 1,000 emergency calls and patient transport requests per year. On board each flight are a flight nurse, flight paramedic, and pilot.

For more information on the Staff for Life Helicopter Service, visit muhealth.org.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
BOONE COUNTY — The Boone County Fire Protection District responded to 12 natural cover fires on Saturday. The Columbia... More >>
14 hours ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 8:28:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia (UUCC) and Missouri Faith Voices hosted a resistance training Saturday to educate... More >>
16 hours ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 6:35:00 PM CST in News
BOONE COUNTY — Two people were taken into custody after leading police on a car chase through multiple counties Saturday... More >>
17 hours ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 5:16:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — An online tool has disappeared for people to find out whether they are buying puppies from... More >>
17 hours ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 4:46:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A government report shows the number of farms in Missouri fell last year while the remaining... More >>
18 hours ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The Acting Company based out of New York has crossed the country and is now in Columbia to... More >>
19 hours ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:03:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Special Olympics Missouri Regional Basketball Tournament returned to Jefferson City for the third year Saturday. ... More >>
19 hours ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 2:48:00 PM CST in News
JOPLIN (AP) — Supporters of Route 66 are pushing to have the roadway added to a national list of historic... More >>
21 hours ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 1:14:00 PM CST in News
CAMDEN COUNTY — A male suspect attempted to gain entrance to a residence on Hackberry Trace in Montreal Saturday, the... More >>
21 hours ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 1:05:00 PM CST in News
PINEVILLE (AP) — The Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council and the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission will be meeting to... More >>
22 hours ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 12:38:29 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The Homes for Computers Program distributed 40 computers to eligible low-income Columbia families on Saturday. One mother... More >>
22 hours ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 12:33:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Applications for concealed carry permits in Missouri have been dropping after passage last year of a... More >>
23 hours ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 11:21:00 AM CST in News
MOBERLY — Three law enforcement agencies partnered to serve a narcotics search warrant on Friday, resulting in the arrest of... More >>
1 day ago February 17, 2017 Feb 17, 2017 Friday, February 17 2017 Friday, February 17, 2017 10:32:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — In the 2017 State of Entrepreneurship Address , the Kauffman Foundation announced a national increase in minority small... More >>
1 day ago February 17, 2017 Feb 17, 2017 Friday, February 17 2017 Friday, February 17, 2017 7:12:00 PM CST in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A St. Louis-area man was sentenced to eight years in prison in a wrong-way crash that killed... More >>
1 day ago February 17, 2017 Feb 17, 2017 Friday, February 17 2017 Friday, February 17, 2017 5:28:38 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two of eight Chicago residents have pleaded guilty for their roles in a smash-and-grab theft of... More >>
1 day ago February 17, 2017 Feb 17, 2017 Friday, February 17 2017 Friday, February 17, 2017 4:44:41 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — A professor at Stephens College and the Tri Beta Biological Honors Society are hosting a series of events... More >>
1 day ago February 17, 2017 Feb 17, 2017 Friday, February 17 2017 Friday, February 17, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST in News
MOBERLY — A Moberly man is charged with child molestation and statutory sodomy. Moberly police arrested Joseph Fowler on... More >>
1 day ago February 17, 2017 Feb 17, 2017 Friday, February 17 2017 Friday, February 17, 2017 4:08:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 58°
11am 65°
12pm 69°
1pm 71°
2pm 73°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:30a
Heart of a Champion with Lauren Thompson
11:00a
Hockey Day in America
11:30a
NHL Hockey
10:30a
In Search of the Lord's Way
11:00a
Paid Program
11:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Paley Center Salutes NBC's 90th Anniversary
6:00p
Killing Emmett Young
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld