StarFlight lands in downtown Lockhart
By LPR Staff
Rush hour traffic became more of a nightmare than usual for some Lockhart commuters on Tuesday evening as medical professionals scrambled to save a child.
Around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, a 2-year-old boy was brought to the Seton Medical Center on Highway 183, with his caretaker complaining that he was unresponsive, not breathi
ng and with his eyes “rolled back in his head.”
As is often the case in serious medical situations at the Seton clinic, staff called Lockhart EMS, who was immediately dispatched to the scene. Police officers accompanied EMS to the clinic.
According to Lockhart Fire Chief Jerry Doyle, it was determined to be in the child”s best interest for StarFlight to transport him to an Austin hospital. The decision required an immediate clearing of Seton”s parking lot to allow for a landing zone for the StarFlight helicopter.
“When [the Lockhart Fire Department was] called, we were asked to assist in communication with StarFlight,” Doyle said. With the city”s current radio systems, neither the Lockhart Police Department nor EMS is able to communicate directly with StarFlight. The fire department was asked to assist in establishing both communications and a landing zone.
“We didn”t have to shut down the highway at all, and Walgreens was kind enough to allow patients that had appointments to park in their lot.”
Doyle said after it was dispatched, the StarFlight helicopter first had to travel to Dell Children”s Hospital to pick up a Pediatric Intensive Care (PICU) team.
“Normally, StarFlight asks for a 100-foot by 100-foot landing zone,” Doyle said. “But those guys are good. I think our zone was about 60 by 90.”
He said the decision was made to land the helicopter at Seton rather than transporting the child to the helipad at the old Lockhart Hospital because the child may not have been stable enough to transport via ambulance. However, he confirmed that the child was crying while being loaded on the helicopter, indicating that he was concious and breathing.
The child”s name and current medical condition were not available at press time.