Nearly 30 years ago, two Texarkana hospitals, CHRISTUS St. Michael and Wadley Regional Medical center recognized the strength in working together to serve the out-of-hospital patient care needs of the community. In 1993, the hospitals merged their ground and air ambulance programs into one company and called the new business LifeNet, Inc.
Today, nearly 350,000 people depend on LifeNet for ground ambulance service across Northeast Texas, Southwest Arkansas, and portions of Oklahoma. LifeNet now operates as an independent, non-profit company incorporated in the state of Arkansas and is overseen by a 15-member board of directors.
Started as Air Life by CHRISTUS St. Michael hospital in 1983, the LifeNet Air medical program is the oldest operating helicopter EMS program in the state of Arkansas. Through a partnership with Air Methods, LifeNet has helicopters at both the Texarkana and Hot Springs Regional Airports. The two bases have flown more than 15,000 patients and provide service throughout three states. LifeNet also operates a fixed wing ambulance out of Texarkana.
While LifeNet is known for putting the patient first and providing quality EMS service, there’s more.
LifeNet is also committed to improving education in the communities it serves. Through its generous tuition reimbursement program, LifeNet has helped EMTs become paramedics, paramedics become nurses, and other staff members to become teachers, business professionals, and even attorneys.
Recognizing it is important for the citizens who witness an emergency happen to be trained in how to respond until help arrives, LifeNet also provides free Stroke Awareness Education Programs, Stop the Bleed Training Classes, and 9-1-1 training for all age groups. LifeNet also works to improve sudden cardiac arrest survival rates by offering free Bystander CPR and AED Use classes and an AED Matching Grant program for non-profits.
Like the visionaries who founded LifeNet nearly three decades ago, the company remains committed to strengthening the chain of survival throughout the communities it serves and providing patient-centered quality out-of-hospital care.
LifeNet is in the one percent of ground ambulance services nationally to be CASS accredited. In 2019, LifeNet earned its accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) for the fifth time since first becoming accredited in 2000. To receive accreditation renewal, LifeNet had to meet over 100 standards set by CAAS covering structure, interagency relations, management, finance, community relations and public affairs, human resources, clinical standards, safety and risk management, equipment and facilities, and communication centers.
After reviewing a comprehensive application that covered LifeNet’s policies, procedures, and protocols, CAAS inspectors visited LifeNet’s three divisions in November of 2018 and conducted a detailed two-day inspection. The visit included checking facilities, reviewing procedures and protocols, and interviewing personnel. This was the fifth time since 2000 that inspectors have done in-depth, on-site reviews of LifeNet Inc.. The next review will happen in 2021.
While accreditation is not required to run a ground ambulance service, LifeNet is committed to excellence and putting the patient first. By undergoing recertification every three years, LifeNet ensures the company is providing the best EMS service possible in each service area.