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Local residents may have the comfort of knowing that one of their own is caring for them in the event of an emergency.
Andrea Hale, a Washington County native, is currently going through orientation to work for Air Methods at the Springfield-Lebanon Airport.
Air Methods is the company with a critical care flight team based at the airport.
“I’ve got five flights in, so I have to have five more flights as a third person with a paramedic and a nurse,” Hale said. “Once I have 10 flights in, then they can decide to turn me loose. Then it will just be me, a nurse and the pilot.”
Hale had to complete training in Denver at the Air Methods corporation headquarters.
She’s no stranger to medical care, either.
Her mother, Nancy Hale, serves as a physician’s assistant in Bardstown. She previously worked in Lebanon.
Andrea also has an extensive medical background.
“So I became an EMT, went through all the training, and after a little while of doing that I decided I wanted to be a paramedic,” she said.
Currently, she’s in school to become a physician’s assistant.
“I thought, ‘I don’t want to give up my medic license,’ so I kind of thought (flight paramedic) would be a neat thing for me to try,” she said. “On the side of PA school, I thought that this would be a good job to have, to keep my medic up once I become a PA.”
Overall, Hale has been in EMS for about six years and a paramedic for four years.
“(In college) I knew I wanted to go to PA school,” she said.
Hale and another paramedic are splitting a shift right now.
“I’ll stay that way once I become a PA and just work on the side,” she said. “I graduate in December.”
Several people from the areas that are covered by the air ambulance service have been hired.
“Several of us here have worked in the surrounding counties or in these EMS services. We have relationships with a lot of the paramedics and EMTs,” Hale said. “The hospitals at Spring View and Flaget, we’re all acquainted with them really well.”
Having that previous relationship is beneficial, she said.
“The relationship is there. They trust our ability on what we’re doing,” she said. “They know, when we say something, what we mean. They know whether (a situation is) serious or not.”
Potential patients can take comfort, as well, knowing that one of their own may be taking care of them.
Air Methods is the largest air ambulance operator in the world, according to the company’s website.