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Vanderbilt LifeFlight expands ground ambulance service to Tullahoma

Mar. 1, 2021, 9:01 AM


by Jerry Jones

Vanderbilt LifeFlight is expanding its ground ambulance advanced life support (ALS) transport capability to Coffee County, Tennessee, and will be adding a base of operations in Tullahoma, along with two ground ambulances.

Some 10 new full-time personnel will be hired as part of the expansion, including advanced emergency medical technicians, paramedics and a local base manager. The ambulances will focus on interfacility transfers from Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital and are not part of the Coffee County 911 EMS response system.

“Having Vanderbilt LifeFlight ground ambulance available, patients requiring a higher level of care will be transported with less delay,” said Rich Ellis, MBA, president of Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital.  Ellis added, “We hope that this additional avenue for transport will help lessen the strain on the Coffee County Ambulance Authority.”

Vanderbilt LifeFlight has received a conditional operational approval from the Coffee County Ambulance Authority with final approval awaiting once the service is operational and approved by the Tennessee Department of Health, EMS Division.

“We are excited to be able to provide ground ambulance support for Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital and look forward to being a part of the Tullahoma and Coffee County community,” said Michael Wallace, MBA, CCPM, NRP, director, Vanderbilt LifeFlight Ground Transport, Event Medicine, and Communications.

One ambulance will be staffed around-the-clock, seven days a week, to assist with interfacility transports from Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital to other hospitals. These ambulances will be staffed with an advanced emergency medical technician and a paramedic.

One additional ALS ground ambulance will be staffed 12-hours a day during peak periods.

Vanderbilt LifeFlight also maintains a life-saving helicopter in Tullahoma at the Tullahoma Municipal Airport (LF 2), which is staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

The ALS ground ambulances will provide backup transport for the helicopter on days that inclement weather prohibits flying. LifeFlight also has an ambulance base in Wilson County to service Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital and ambulances in Nashville servicing Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital.

LifeFlight recently announced it is also in the process of establishing an ambulance base in Clarksville (Montgomery County) to help support acute interfacility transfers from Tennova Clarksville Hospital.

Vanderbilt LifeFlight was recently named the 2020 Program of the Year by the Association of Air Medical Services, for its excellence in air and ground safety, EMS operations and patient care.

Vanderbilt LifeFlight’s air operations are provided by Air Methods Corporation. All ground EMS and medical services are provided by Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

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