Stone County Becomes the 10th Member-County of Southeast Mississippi Air Ambulance District
Hattiesburg, MS - November 07, 2002 - The nation’s only community, tax-supported air ambulance district expanded during October with the addition of Stone County as its tenth member.
The now 10-member Southeast Mississippi Air Ambulance District (SEMAAD) claims distinction as the longest continuously running helicopter rescue operation in the United States. Founded in 1970, the District’s helicopter is named Rescue 7 for the Mississippi Highway Patrol District in which it operates. The aircraft responds to about 700 missions each year to afford life-saving health care and transport throughout Covington, Forrest, Greene, Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, Perry, Stone, and Walthall Counties.
Rescue 7 is a 2002 custom-designed Agusta A119 Koala helicopter. The new Rescue 7 offers three major advantages: 70 cubic feet more space in the patient care area, giving two attendants fully-body access to two patients; 43.5% more lifting power, accommodating both equipment and people needs; and 34% faster speed than the former Rescue 7, a significant improvement in getting patients to the hospital at the right time.
“The District is an EMS pioneer,” declared Dr. Richard H. Clark, Jr., President and a founder of SEMAAD. “Rescue 7 stands out as a service that has provided its member counties with state-of-the-art emergency medical services for three decades – a responsibility we take very seriously and, I believe, carry out very well. The addition of Stone County exemplifies the faith our local leaders have in the outstanding health care and rapid transportation provided by Rescue 7 and staff.”
SEMAAD is managed by AAA Ambulance Service which provides ground advanced life support care in Stone County as well as seven other SEMAAD counties. Mr. Wade N. Spruill, Jr., who serves as the Chief Executive Officer for both SEMAAD and AAA Ambulance Service stated, “For some three decades, South Mississippians have relied on Rescue 7. Patients and families of Stone County can continue to expect and get highly skilled instrument-rated pilots, exceptionally experienced paramedics to address their trauma needs, and critical care at the highest level of service we can possibly deliver – both air and ground.
“SEMAAD remains the only locally owned and operated service of its kind in Mississippi,” Spruill said. “We own the aircraft and its related equipment. We employ rather than contract with the pilots and EMS crews. We are fully dedicated to meeting current and yet unforeseen emergency health care needs throughout our community. We shall continue to lead in Mississippi Trauma Care System’s critically important clinical services arena.”
About AAA Ambulance Service: AAA Ambulance Service, founded in 1965, created one of the first licensed emergency medical services providers in Mississippi. The community, tax-supported nonprofit organization’s mission is to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce trauma-related personal anguish and health care costs. For more information, visit http://www.aaaambulance.net.
Contact: Christy M. Joy
PO Box 17889
Hattiesburg, MS 39404
207 South. 28th Ave.
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
(601) 264-0175 SND.Email