When a traumatic accident takes place, the first 60 minutes after injury is called the "golden hour," because it is the timeframe that is most critical to a successful outcome. For a victim with serious injuries, quick transfer from the accident scene to a trauma center is crucial.
Virtua provides reliable and speedy transport for seriously injured residents through its medical air transportation called SouthStar. It is South Jersey's only designated airborne emergency medical service.
Based at Virtua Voorhees, the SouthStar helicopter provides airborne emergency medical services 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The helicopter is staffed by:
- Two State police pilots
- Flight nurse
- Flight paramedic
The SouthStar aircraft, a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, has the following features:
- Ability to transport 2 patients
- Aerodynamic fuselage and retractable landing gear
- Capability of reaching 155 knots, with a fuel range of 2 hours
The Regional Emergency Medical Communications System (REMCS), located at the University of Medicine and Dentistry (UMDNJ) in Newark is SouthStar's primary dispatch center. The Communications Center dispatchers do the following:
- Work in a 911 system
- Maintain radio contact with the flight crew both on ground and in flight
- Track the aircraft while in flight
- Coordinate helicopter requests with various hospitals, communication centers and ground agencies
For more information about SouthStar, visit www.njsouthstar.org.