Carilion Clinic Life-Guard (formerly Life-Guard 10) began serving areas of Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina in 1981. Since it's inception, Carilion Clinic Life-Guard has safely transported thousands of critically ill and injured children and adults.
The program initially used a Bell 206B Jet Ranger, which had the capacity to carry a pilot, flight paramedic and one patient. While able to make many successful transports, the need for a larger aircraft was recognized.
In 1984, a Bell 222A was deployed and the flight nurse program was implemented. This aircraft was IFR rated and had the capacity to carry two patients, two flight team members and two pilots. This addition allowed an expanded mission profile and extended the tertiary care facility to the field. Carilion Health System entered into an agreement with Air Methods in 1990, which brought the Bell 412. The availability of extra cabin space, redundant twin engines, and increased performance, has allowed us to maintain an exemplary record within the industry.
In May 2005, our second air medical base, Carilion Life-Guard 11, began service in SW Virginia. The base is currently located at Carilion New River Valley Medical Center in Radford, VA. This helicopter primarily serves southwest Virginia and West Virginia, but is also available to provide back-up to the Life-Guard 10 territories and volunteers to supplement 911 emergency coverage, as well as providing all types of EMS response models.
Our third medical base, Life-Guard 12, will begin making flights in spring 2012 from its home at Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital in Lexington. Its presence will further extend Carilion's ability to serve the region, which includes Allegheny County, Bath County, Pocahontas County, Greenbrier County and Lewisburg. Life-Guard 12 will significantly reduce response and transport time, providing fast, efficient critical care air services to those in need.