HAMPTON CO., SC (WTOC) - Hampton County is continuing to improve access to quality healthcare for its residents.
Wednesday the county unveiled its newest addition: a LifeNet helicopter.
This helicopter will be stationed in Hampton County. Before its arrival on Wednesday, the closest bases were in Orangeburg, SC, and Savannah, GA.
"If we were to drive by ambulance it would take an hour and a half to two hours to get to that higher level of care," said Andy Farmer, a paramedic.
It's 74 miles to the closest trauma center, which could mean the difference between life and death.
"We have what's called a golden hour, so typically if we can get a person in definitive care within that first hour their survival rate and their wellbeing increases by 70 to 80 percent," said Hampton County Emergency Services Director Chris Altman.
That's why this new partnership is so important, especially for EMTs providing that first level of support.
"It's truly an asset for a community that has limited resources and that is the struggle for rural counties across the nation, getting the definitive care for the best amount of money," Jody Hadwin, an advanced EMT in Hampton County.
This helicopter will serve five other counties including Beaufort, Jasper and Allendale.