Members of LifeNet, a commercial emergency helicopter transport service, showed off their new home at Woodward Field east of Camden during an open house Dec. 9. The company, which has served Kershaw and other surrounding counties’ first responders and hospitals for a number of years, recently replaced its offices at the Kershaw County Airport with a new, large trailer.
LifeNet used the open house as a way to show off the new digs to its “customers” and to thank them for their relationships with a hamburger and hotdog cookout. Representatives from both local governments and area first responders attended the open house, including Lugoff Fire-Rescue Chief Dennis Ray and Camden Mayor Tony Scully.
Brad Freeman, RN, a LifeNet paramedic, said from their base in Kershaw County, they serve first responders, emergency departments and intensive care units not only here, but in Chester, Chesterfield, Darlington, Lancaster, Lee and Sumter counties. The company has other bases in other parts of the state. Freeman said each base has multiple teams made up of a pilot, registered nurse and paramedic.
“All have advanced national certification, getting some of the best training you can get,” he said. “We work 24-hour shifts; we are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We respond to accidents and other scenes with injuries, stroke patients and we do transports between hospitals.”
Michael Shirey, South Carolina business manager for LifeNet’s parent company, Air Methods, attended the open house as well.
“Our helicopters sometimes provide a different type of service or care than from in the back of an ambulance,” Shirey said. “Not better, just different.”
Freeman said the new trailer provides “much better living quarters.” There is a large living/dining/kitchen space, three bedrooms, bathrooms and an office.
“We wanted to show what we love to do but also show our appreciation to our customers,” Freeman said of the day’s event.
While Air Methods and LifeNet do not disclose the volume of calls they respond to during any particular time period, Shirey said their helicopters in Kershaw County responded to two calls prior to the open house on Dec. 9.