Beaumont One air medical transportation provides inter-hospital and on the scene transportation for critically-ill and injured patients. The Beaumont One team of highly trained flight nurses and paramedics are trained to perform highly skilled technical procedures to cover a wide variety of injuries and emergencies they may encounter.
In our first Tale from Beaumont One, we interviewed flight nurse Jeremiah Gibbs, who has been flying in Beaumont One since 2012. Jeremiah tells us why he decided on a career in flight care and tells us some of his most memorable stories of life in the sky.
What is your education? Where did you train?
I originally attended Oakland University pursuing a degree in engineering but decided to take an EMT course with a friend on my off days so that I could work on an ambulance. I took to that job, really enjoyed it and ended up attending Superior Medical Education to complete my EMT Paramedic training. After nine years of working as a paramedic in Oakland County, I went to Macomb Community College and got my nursing degree.
What prior work experience have you had?
I started in EMS as an EMT basic, then moved to paramedic level, then critical care paramedic. I became a RN at Beaumont on the cardiac unit, then transitioned to the EC and worked there as a staff nurse. I eventually became Beaumont Royal Oak’s EMS coordinator, then started on Beaumont One in 2012 as a flight nurse, while also continuing as EMS coordinator.
What led you to Beaumont One?
I went to nursing school for two reasons: I wanted to become an EMS coordinator and I wanted to work in flight care.
When I heard Beaumont was developing a flight program, I was very excited to work with critically unstable patients and do something that only 60 or so other nurses in Michigan get to do. Flight nurses are the most diverse nurses in the state. We’re required to maintain many certifications and skill competencies because the patients we transport can range from high risk OB/GYN and pediatrics to trauma, ICU, cardiac and neuro. We’re trained on complex, high-level life support devices such as balloon pumps, LVAD’s, Impella devices, ventilators and nitric oxide administration. The challenge of maintaining proficiency in treating these types of patients and using this equipment is a big part of what makes this job great and challenging.
What’s one thing about your job people find surprising?
You never know what you’re going to see next. We transport such a diverse patient population, that it really adds to the excitement. One flight might be a 2kg PICU patient and the next might be a high mechanism trauma patient. The unpredictability of this job means it never becomes boring. I thought the thrill might wear off. It hasn’t yet and I’m not sure it ever will.
What keeps you going and motivated to help out?
The patients. They’re the reason we’re here. If Beaumont One is activated, there’s a good reason. These people require a level of care during transport that only we can provide. I know that every time we take off, we’re headed to a person that’s in dire need of a higher level of care than a local ground EMS agency or a local hospital can provide. It’s this need that drives me and everyone that works for Beaumont One to continue to do our jobs. We can provide a service that really makes a difference. Making that difference is what keeps me going.
What’s been your most memorable moment so far?
The most memorable would be my first patient flight. A patient had suffered a cardiac arrest and was in a small two-bedroom ER in the thumb. She went into cardiac arrest as we were loading her in the helicopter. We had to do CPR for 15 minutes in a softball field and resuscitate her before we could transport. We ended up being successful and flew her to Beaumont where the patient was taken to the Cardiac Cath lab, had surgery and was admitted to Beaumont’s CCU. She ended up surviving.
If you could take the helicopter anywhere for a scenic trip, where would you go?
When you’re flying in a helicopter, everything is a scenic trip. Michigan is beautiful from 1,500 feet. I really love the fall colors right now—truly amazing from the air. The Saginaw Bay area is beautiful from the air as well. Being a nature lover and a true Michigander these sights are all the luxury and beauty I could ever ask for. There’s always a great view from my “office”!