Flight for Life honors Bristol Fire Department

Roll your cursor over above photos for caption info. All photos by Earlene Frederick.

Flight For LifeMcHenry Base presented the Bristol Fire Department with its 16th Annual Scene Call of the Year Award for 2010 on Monday in a ceremony at the Bristol Fire Station.

The patient involved in the call, Kelly Hinze, and her family, along with the fire department, Kenosha County sheriff’s deputies, the dispatchers from Kenosha County Joint Services, and Flight For Life personnel who participated in her care were in attendance.

Just before 2 p.m. on Aug. 26, 2010 Hinze was involved in a car vs. dump truck crash in Bristol. Kenosha County sheriff and Bristol Fire Department were immediately dispatched to the scene. The deputies reported to dispatch that the patient was unconscious but breathing and would require extrication from the vehicle. Battalion Chief Niederer, based upon this report, requested that Kenosha County Joint Services put Flight For LifeMcHenry on stand-by.

Extrication took over 20 minutes and Hinze was then transported to the pre-determined landing zone at the Kenosha County Center, Highways 45 and 50. The Flight For Life team was already at the landing zone, awaiting her arrival. Flight Nurse Patty Mitchell and Flight Paramedic Tom Bradtke got into the Bristol Fire ambulance, working as a team to assess Hinze’s condition and prepare her for the flight to Froedtert Hospital. The flight crew inserted a tube to help her breathe and then she was loaded into the aircraft for the 15 minutes flight to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, a Level 1 Trauma Center. These lifesaving measures were accomplished within less than an hour from the time Hinze was extricated by the Bristol Fire Department until her arrival at Froedtert.

Though Hinze’s condition was extremely critical that day, the fact that Bristol Fire was able to initiate her transport direct to a Level 1 Trauma Center via Flight For Life increased her chances for survival and recovery.

The award applications were evaluated by a panel of judges based on the guidelines developed by the American College of Surgeons for using air medical transport. The submissions were also examined for the following: scene safety, triage decisions, complex planning and accident scene management, integration of the helicopter into the call, and use of skills that went beyond the “call of duty” to treat the patient.

The Bristol call highlights the teamwork that exists among EMS, fire departments, law enforcement agencies, dispatchers, and air medical services as they work together to provide the best possible patient outcome.

Hinze suffered a fractured pelvis, punctured lung, multiple fractures to her face and ribs as well as a tear to her aorta. She was discharged home on Sept. 24. She has made a miraculous recovery and is back at work as well.


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