Flight for Life changes how they operate during coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 7:11 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-28 09:36:12-04

Flight for Life Medical Director, Tim Lenz, has never seen anything like COVID-19.

But it will not stop Flight for Life from serving the community as it has for almost four decades. It has, however, changed the way they operate.

"Our bases and buildings, all the staff is required to wear a face mask at all times. We've limited to no visitors. It's hard, but we've also limited to no patient family members or ride along on the ground units," said Leif Erickson, Director of Operations at Flight for Life.

"It's challenging. I mean, I wear a mask and goggles at work in the emergency department during the entire shift. When we have a known COVID patient, we gown up, if we have to intubate the patient so that we protect ourselves so we can be treating the community," said Dr. Lenz.

Adding two hours of decontamination after transferring a COVID-19 patient, has left them with needs like any other health care facility.

"Crews are taking time to make sure they wipe down all the interior in the aircraft, all the equipment that they've touched. Their flight suits included. We've had really good support from the community, but we are still in need of like all other EMS providers. N95 mask, gloves, disinfectant wipes," said Erickson.

Doing what they can in the present to slow down COVID-19, Flight for Life is also looking toward the future.

"This is new to all of us. So we need to figure out what is best for our patients. In the event, and let's hope it isn't, but in the event, it is something that returns on an annual basis," said Dr. Lenz.

If you would like to donate supplies to Flight for Life, you can call the Non-Emergency phone number: (414) 778-5427.

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