Duty Calls

photos courtesy of the first responders

First responders reflect on their local impact

As they walk along the tarmac at Plymouth Municipal Airport, there’s something mysterious about the pilots who are making their deliberate approach toward their aircraft. In their bold, blue flight suits, they step on board a shiny, metallic blue twin-engine helicopter that’s headed off to the unknown. The mission is always clear: help those who need it most. Each chopper carries an elite team, including a pilot and a highly trained medical team with a critical care nurse and critical care paramedic. Off they venture, rarely rattled and prepared to handle everything from the worst traffic accidents to transporting patients from hospital to hospital.  

Cape Cod has become one of Boston MedFlight’s hot spots to help, especially in the summer months because of the mere ease of flying a helicopter above the traffic that’s so remarkably inherent to the Cape during those warmer months. The critical care transport team treats about 300 patients each year from the Cape, with 42 percent of incidents occurring between June 1st and September 30th. Most of their calls are for traumas—the worst of the worst—but they also transfer many patients from hospital to hospital to receive a different kind of treatment. People tend to be in awe of the helicopter that floats above the New England waters and races to any call for help, but the agency has a fleet of helicopters, an airplane and ground ambulances to meet its mission across the region.