EagleMed — which has a contract with Freeman Health System — will celebrate 10 years of service with a cookout for hospital employees and the community on Tuesday at the Freeman Neosho Hospital.

Lunch will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the hospital and the EagleMed crew will give the community a closer look at its air ambulance and answer questions about its services.

“We want to show our appreciation to Freeman Hospital and to the Neosho community, our appreciation for the last 10 years of working with us,” said Marty Mitchell, marketing representative for EagleMed, which is based out of Wichita, Kan. “We have the pilot, paramedic and RN and basically, it is a flying ICU. They can provide the care while they are flying. They can provide just about anything that an ICU provides and that is one of the advantages for air flight, they can basically resume that care from the ER without skipping a beat. Anything that they are doing in that ER can basically be transferred onto the (helicopter) and to the next facility. Same with the scene flight: when they land, our RN basically becomes the lead medical person onsite.”

Prior to the free luncheon, at 10 a.m., there will be a landing zone course for emergency services personnel.

“Basically what we cover there is just safety when you are landing the helicopter,” he said. “There are a lot of things to consider, whether it is a scene flight or we are landing at the hospital on the helipad. Most people have been through this course probably and it is a good reminder of just those things that you need to be aware of as a helicopter does approach its destination, how to safely load a patient or unload a patient.”
EagleMed has one helicopter that serves the Joplin and Neosho area.

“The number of flights we average from the hospital [is] one to two a month,” said Mitchell. “We can get from Joplin to Neosho in less than 10 minutes.”

“The services they provide are very beneficial to Freeman Neosho and our community,” said Anita Walden, nursing director at Freeman Neosho Hospital. ”Critical patients may need to be transferred rapidly from Freeman Neosho to another facility. Once our physician has made the clinical decision that a transfer is necessary, EagleMed is equipped to quickly and safely transfer patients to outlying facilities.”

Walden said a physician evaluates a patient’s condition and determines how quickly the patient needs to arrive at the outlying facility.

“If it is determined that taking the patient by ambulance is not quick enough, the physician will then opt to transfer the patient by air,” she said.