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McCoy named chief flight nurse at Humboldt base

Feb. 6, 2019, 2:31 PM

by Jerry Jones

Rita McCoy, RN, EMT, a veteran flight nurse from West Tennessee, has been named base manager and chief flight nurse for Vanderbilt LifeFlight’s Gibson County base in Humboldt, Tennessee.

Rita McCoy, RN, EMT

“I am so excited to be able to provide leadership to this great team,” McCoy said. “For almost 35 years Vanderbilt has been committed to providing great care via LifeFlight, and I’m proud to be a part of that tradition.”

McCoy, who joined Vanderbilt LifeFlight in 2017, was previously a base manager with Hospital Wing. As base manager she will oversee 10 medical flight crew members. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Capella University and has been a practicing nurse since 1988.

Vanderbilt LifeFlight opened the Gibson County base in February 2018 and it is located at the Humboldt Airport where a twin-engine Airbus Helicopter EC145 is positioned. The aircraft can fly at speeds faster than 150 mph. It is one of the few aircraft in the area that provides flight nurses 360-degree access to the patient and the ability to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR). The aircraft is also equipped with air conditioning, state-of-the-art navigation, a communications and avionics package that includes night vision goggles and a terrain avoidance warning system.

From Humboldt, the helicopter covers a 120-mile response area and transports patients who require advanced medical and surgical care. LifeFlight also performs hospital-to-hospital transports in the region so patients can be treated at tertiary care centers located across West Tennessee, including Jackson and Memphis.

“We are so excited to have Rita at the helm leading our Gibson County base,” said Sheldon Dreaddy, MSN, RN, EMT, LifeFlight air medical transport manager. “She brings with her more than 30 years of nursing experience and 18 years of flight experience, along with a wealth of knowledge about the local community.”

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