Thursday, September 14, 2000

Warren gets med copter

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Warren County has scored a coup: its own emergency helicopter to serve the fast-growing areas along the Cincinnati-Dayton corridor.

        Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton is leasing space in a new terminal at the Warren County Airport for the hospital's second Care Flight helicopter, spokeswoman Patty McDaniel confirmed Wednesday.

        The helicopter will serve Butler, Warren, Clinton and Highland counties, she said, and it will be staffed with one doctor and two nurses 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. seven days a week.

        “This is truly going to make Warren County a better place to live,” said Commissioner Mike Kilburn, who himself was airlifted to University Hospital in Cincinnati after a fall from a horse this spring.

        Having a helicopter nearby could shave at least 5 minutes off the time it takes trauma teams to reach his southern Warren County community, estimated Hamilton Township Fire Chief Goebel “Junior” Williams.

        “It can be life-and-death, there's no doubt,” he said.

        Butler County officials also were pleased to hear the news Wednesday.

        “My theory is, competition is good for Butler County residents because it affects not only access to care but also quality of care,” Commissioner Mike Fox said.

        Residents in the southern half of Butler and Warren counties have traditionally looked to Cincinnati for services such as health care, while northern residents go to Dayton.

        This could upset that balance.

        Officials at University Hospital — the region's other center for treating trauma patients — conceded Wednesday that Miami Valley's move likely will hurt University Air Care's volume.

        “But as long as it's in the best interest of the patient and it's not a financial consideration, I can't argue with that,” said Dudley Smith, director of Air Care.


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