Wadsworth Municipal Airport, 840 Airport Drive, will be the new home of one of Cleveland Clinic’s two critical care helicopters. A critical care transport facility is scheduled to open in late September or early October after renovations to one of the airport’s hangars are complete.
PHOTO PROVIDED Enlarge
WADSWORTH — Wadsworth Municipal Airport will be the new home for a Cleveland Clinic critical care transport facility.
Flight paramedic and outreach coordinator J.R Sesock said the clinic opted to end its contract with Akron Fulton International Airport and relocate a critical care transport facility at the southern Medina County airport.
“Once we looked at the whole geographical area, it kind of just fits our profile a little bit more,” Sesock said Wednesday.
“A lot of it is to support our communities down in the southern region and then our hospitals down there as well,” he said. “A big purpose of us moving down there is to support our Medina Hospital, Akron General, and then the communities that surround it and give them some access to the Cleveland Clinic.”
Renovations to the hangar at Wadsworth Municipal Airport, 840 Airport Drive, are scheduled to be completed by the end of the month, with a tentative opening the last week of September or the first week of October, he said.
Hangar work expenses are being covered by the clinic’s aircraft vendor, PHI Air Medical, said Sesock.
“There is no cost to the community for us to be over there,” he said.
Sesock said the clinic’s second critical care helicopter will remain based in Cleveland.
“We are going to have a full-time helicopter (in Wadsworth), which will be 24/7,” he said.
Emergencies handled by the critical care team include anything beyond the scope of what can be done by EMS, and could range from flying to a crash site to transport a victim to the hospital to inter-hospital patient transfers, Sesock said.
“We have two pilots for each shift and two medical providers — one is a nurse practitioner and then they are either with a flight nurse or a flight paramedic,” he said. “We will probably have about
25 employees that would be down there on a regular basis.”
The critical care team also features ground units — in Cleveland, Twinsburg, Brooklyn and Medina —that can be used in the event the flight crew is unable to fly for whatever reason.
Sesock said he has worked with Wadsworth City Council and Safety Director Matt Hiscock on the project.
“We have had several meetings with them and we have a great relationship, not only with city council but with the fire department and the police department,” he said.
“From what they told us, they are very excited for us to be over there and have the support system that they can call for if and when they need us.”
Safety Director Matt Hiscock said having the clinic’s critical care helicopter service based in Wadsworth will be a great addition to emergency response resources available in the area.
“With 24/7 access, 365 days a year to advanced life support services from specially trained Cleveland Clinic critical care staff, operating state of the art Sikorsky aircraft with a 250 mile radius from the base, critical care teams are available to the region and can provide the highest level of pre-hospital care and service with seamless transitions to hospital facilities, all aimed at providing for improved patient outcomes,” Hiscock said in an email Wednesday.