No obstacles for Crosby patients needing to be flown to hospital

CROSBY, Texas (KTRK) -- When you're in an emergency, every second counts.

"Time is the difference," expressed flight paramedic Philip Pegg. "We say, 'Time is [a] heart muscle, time [a] is brain.'"

But, pilots have historically had trouble in Crosby.

So, back in 2015, Memorial Hermann's Life Flight became the first helicopter air ambulance program to allow pilots to rely on advanced navigation systems instead of visual cues.

"The best way I can describe it is that we went out for the citizens of Crosby and purchased a basic roadway in the sky," explained Crosby EMS Chief Christy Graves.

Pilots worked with the FAA to create flight plans in order to navigate them through poor weather conditions.

Everything is computerized.

"It's just like an approach from Hobby or Intercontinental," said chief pilot Damon Sanger. "They're designed to keep the aircraft safe from obstacles on the ground."

As of September 2019, pilots are now approved to take patients straight from Crosby's helipad to operating rooms, with no stops in between.

"Sixteen minutes was the last number we had from this helipad, to a trauma surgeon," said Sanger.

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