Pine Bluff-based Pafford Air One has resumed its medical helicopter services in Jefferson County and the surrounding area after a November crash killed three of its crew members.
The company said that the National Transportation Safety Board believes the crash of Pafford Air One Bravo was caused by multiple bird strikes as the aircraft flew over Hamptons Reservoir south of Stuttgart.
The air ambulance services regional medical facilities’ and 9-1-1 systems’ patients in Arkansas and Mississippi, according to a company news release.
“Sadly, the crash resulted in the deaths of the Pafford Air One crew James ‘Jim’ Spruiell, John ’Trey; Auld III and Air Methods pilot Mike Bollen. In respect for the fallen, the company has retired the Air One Bravo name, replacing it with the new Pafford Air One-Echo moniker,” the news release said.
After a company-wide moment of radio silence at noon Friday, the helicopter program resumed service.
“The Pafford Air One team has made a lasting commitment to take the time to be as precise as Mike, as passionate as Jim, and as spirited as Trey,” the news release said.
The Pafford Air One medical helicopter services in Ruston, Louisiana, Clarksdale, Mississippi and Pine Bluff. The group has achieved a safety record flying over 20,000 flight hours since the service began in 2006. Thousands of emergency patients received advanced, lifesaving services through Pafford’s Air One and Air Med response and transport.
“The company looks forward to continuing these important air ambulance services for patients living in rural areas where long response and transport times using ground transportation might negatively impact these patients’ medical conditions,” the news release said.
Pafford Air One is a sister company to Pafford EMS and Pafford Air Med. These are all Pafford family-owned EMS services headquartered in Ruston and in Hope. For more than half a century, Pafford Medical Services ground, fixed wing and medical helicopter ambulance companies have responded to more than 125,000 patients living in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma.