ALTON - Survival Flight is now providing emergent and non-emergent patient medical ground and air transportation to and from OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center for Riverbend region residents.
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“Adding Survival Flight to our roster of EMS service providers only enhances our Mission of serving with the greatest care and love,” says Jerry Rumph, president, of OSF Saint Anthony’s. “Local residents have yet another resource available for them to gain access to the health care services available here at OSF Saint Anthony’s.”
Survival Flight, Inc., is a premier emergency medical transportation company dedicated to medical transportation focusing on the quality of care to patients and their safety with aviation and ground medical transportation. Their mission and purpose are serving customers with unsurpassed and rapid medical services to save lives.
“Our top priority is to extend and enhance a patient’s life by safely providing air and ground transport delivery to an immediate in-house medical staff and facility. We passionately serve those who have unexpectedly found themselves threatened by life’s unforeseen situations and devote everything we do to ensure our patients get our full focus and expertise to preserve and enhance their safety until they are transported to the medical care they require,” says Chris Millard, chief executive officer, Survival Flight. “Survival Flight also values the importance of family which is why all Survival Flight aircraft are third rider equipped. This capability allows a patient’s family member to fly with their loved one when necessary. This is a true advantage especially in the case when a pediatric patient is flown because a parent or other loved one can fly with the child.”
Survival Flight recently opened a new ground transportation base facility in Wood River located at 230 N Old Saint Louis Rd. Survival Flight’s local air transportation base facility is in Jerseyville (IL).
Survival Flight currently has bases in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, but will fly anywhere in the United States where their services are needed. Survival Flight operates Bell helicopters and Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. The Pilatus PC-12 is dispatched just as a helicopter, does not have to be scheduled in advance, and can fly when weather does not permit a helicopter to fly.
Survival Flight providing EMS services for OSF Saint Anthony’s in a way brings things full circle for Millard personally. “I was born at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria (IL). I was raised in Peoria County and Illinois will always be my home,” Millard says.
“I grew up in a rural area of Peoria county and emergency medical care was not very accessible to say the least. What we did have was all volunteer services and they did a great job - but again, they were quite a distance away.”
Later in life, Millard left Illinois to take a job working on helicopters in the offshore oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico. “This was the first job I had as a young adult. Two years into this job I saw an internal job opening for a helicopter mechanic in Illinois. Upon investigation, I found this job was in Peoria and was a new EMS helicopter program based at OSF St. Francis Medical Center.”
Jumping at the chance to go back home and to be a part of an EMS service that would provide a much-needed service to the area where he was raised, Millard saw it as an added bonus that it was at the hospital where he was born. “You cannot get back to your roots any more than that,” Millard stated.
“While being a part of such a program and seeing what this service could mean to the very people I grew up with, I realized that I wanted to devote my life to this industry,” he says. “My life took me to many places as I pursued this passion. Each time I moved or accepted a new position, it was always the next step in the progression from helicopter mechanic to CEO.”
Now as the CEO, President, and Chairman of the Board of Survival Flight, Inc., Millard’s leadership of Survival Flight now has helicopters, ground ambulances, and an airplane spread across the country in eight (8) states with multiple locations throughout those states.
“It’s a common occurrence to have new ambulance or helicopter base opportunities brought to Survival Flight. I am very happy to say these opportunities almost always come from the hard-working EMS professionals at our current bases,” Millard shares. “It’s the outstanding job they do daily that affords us the opportunity for growth. Almost everyone in our company knows this very story - they know it was the first helicopter EMS job that made me dedicate my life to this industry. They also know that job was working for the very hospital I was born in and that it was OSF St. Francis Medical Center. When the potential opportunity to work with an OSF facility in Alton came up, I knew, as did the people I work with, that it would be a relationship that could be very important to all of us.”
The story coming full circle happened when Survival Flight representatives attended the first meeting with OSF St. Anthony’s and their thoughts were confirmed. “We are very excited about the opportunity to provide dedicated ambulance services to this community. The fact that it is an OSF facility and a large part of my life’s journey makes it even more special to me and our organization,” Millard says.
More information about Survival Flight can be obtained by visiting www.survivalflightinc.com.
AboutOSF HealthCare Saint Anthony’s Health Center
A 49-bed Rural Health designated acute care hospital in Alton, Illinois, OSF Saint Anthony’s serves the residents of Madison, Jersey and Macoupin counties. It is home to OSF Moeller Cancer Center, which provides the latest diagnostic tools and treatment for patients in a relaxing environment. OSF Saint Anthony’s also provides 24-hour access to a physician-staffed emergency department, in addition to cardiovascular, neurology, pulmonology, surgical, rehabilitation services and more. OSF Saint Anthony’s is fully accredited by the Joint Commission for Healthcare Facilities, American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, American College of Radiology, American Heart Association, IDPH and TJC Primary Stroke Center. OSF Saint Anthony’s is part of OSF HealthCare – an integrated health system with 16 hospitals in Illinois and Michigan and robust Innovation and Digital Health divisions that provide access to specialty care and remote monitoring, helping people receive the care they need close to home. OSF HealthCare is operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis.
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