Michigan Speedway adds air-ambulance

U-M Survival Flight joins MIS as air-ambulance provider for 2002. BROOKLYN, Mich. -- This summer, hundreds of the world's fastest drivers and hundreds of thousands of the most devoted auto racing fans will flock to the Michigan International ...

U-M Survival Flight joins MIS as air-ambulance provider for 2002.

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- This summer, hundreds of the world's fastest drivers and hundreds of thousands of the most devoted auto racing fans will flock to the Michigan International Speedway for three weekends of car and truck racing excitement.

And standing by, just in case any of the racers or spectators needs serious medical attention, will be one of the finest, most advanced helicopter ambulance teams in the country: the University of Michigan Health System's Survival Flight.

Survival Flight has signed a three-year contract to provide air ambulance support to MIS for its major motorsport events, including NASCAR, Indy Racing League and ARCA RE/MAX series races, starting with this weekend's Sirius Satellite Radio 400 event weekend. The deal expands the U-M medical presence at MIS. Currently, physicians from the U-M Department of Emergency Medicine staff both the on-site care center at MIS and the emergency department at W.A. Foote Memorial Hospital in nearby Jackson.

"We're proud to join the team that supports these incredible racing events and this historic track, and we hope fans and drivers alike will take comfort from the fact that we are there," said Mark Lowell, M.D., the Survival Flight medical director. "Meanwhile, Michigan and northern Ohio residents can rest assured that our race support will not interfere with our ability to transport critically ill and injured patients and transplant organs."

That level of service is made possible by Survival Flight's three twin-engine Bell 430 helicopters, which will all be put in service on race weekends. Normally, one of the aircraft is rotated out of service each day, but a special permit from the state will make it possible for all three to be ready to fly at once. UMHS has increased staffing so that each helicopter will carry either two highly-trained flight nurses or a nurse and an emergency medical physician.

"We're happy to have forged a relationship with such a world-class operation," said MIS President Brett Shelton. "U-M's involvement adds another level to Michigan International Speedway's commitment to our guests."

In addition to this weekend's racing action, Survival Flight will be on hand on July 26-28 and August 16-18. The bright blue helicopter, with a maize-colored block M on the underside, will be stationed near the infield scoreboard.

Patients airlifted from MIS may go to Foote or to the U-M medical campus, where they will land on new helipads that give fast access to the state-of-the-art UMHS emergency department, the Level I Trauma/Burn Center, and UMHS operating rooms and specialized intensive care units. The Survival Flight communications center will coordinate all helicopter transport at MIS on race weekends, including backup from additional Survival Flight helicopters or other air ambulance services if needed.

The U-M's Survival Flight is considered one of the top air ambulance programs in the nation, and features advanced capabilities. Operating around the clock and throughout the year, its helicopters bring critically ill and injured patients from hospitals and accident sites to UMHS for specialized care, aid in rescue operations and transport harvest teams for organ donations.

Survival Flight flies more than 1,400 missions a year. Most missions use the helicopters, which have a 200-mile radius and an average speed of 172 miles per hour, but some use a fixed-wing jet that can fly throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, or a ground ambulance that serves the local region. All are fully equipped as mobile intensive care units. Survival Flight's 19 flight nurses are specially trained to handle critically ill and injured patients.

Medical residents training in emergency medicine at U-M also fly with Survival Flight, as do members of the transplant, life-support, neonatology and cardiology teams. Among the advanced technologies used by Survival Flight teams are the ECMO life-support technology pioneered at UMHS, special isolettes for critically ill newborns, temporary artificial heart and heart-assist devices and spinal cord stabilization equipment.

MIS is owned by International Speedway Corporation, a leading promoter of motorsports activities in the United States, currently promoting more than 100 events annually. The company owns and/or operates 12 major motorsports facilities, including Daytona International Speedway in Florida (home of the Daytona 500): Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama; California Speedway near Los Angeles, California; Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida; Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas; Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona; Richmond International Raceway in Virginia, Darlington Raceway in South Carolina; North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina; Watkins Glen International in New York; and Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania. Other track interests include an indirect 37.5 percent interest in Raceway Associates, LLC, which owns and operates Chicagoland Speedway and the Route 66 Raceway near Chicago, Illinois. The Company also owns and operates MRN Radio, the nation's largest independent sports radio network; DAYTONA USA, the "Ultimate Motorsports Attraction" in Daytona Beach, Florida, the official attraction of NASCAR; and subsidiaries which provide catering services, food and beverage concessions, and produce and market motorsports-related merchandise under the trade name "Americrown." For more information, visit the Company's website at www.iscmotorsports.com.

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Series Automotive , NASCAR