27-May-2016 Source: HeliHub.com
Gundersen Health System is starting a trial on 1st June to see whether the move is feasible in the long term. No helicopter type has been mentioned. Their MedLink Air program serves La Crosse, Wisconsin and surrounding areas within a 150-mile radius, including communities through the tri-state region of western Wisconsin, northeastern Iowa and southeastern Minnesota. They fly an EC145, which has been operated by Metro Aviation since 1st October 2014. The program traces its roots back to 1992, is available 24x7x365 and is on track to fly 500 patients in 2016.
To meet growing demands, Gundersen will add a second MedLink Air helicopter on a six-month trial basis. One helicopter will be stationed at Decorah airport from 8am to 8pm dialy, while the other will be stationed at the Sparta-McCoy Airport in Wisconsin.
“Adding the second helicopter will allow us to better respond to the needs in our communities,” explains Gundersen MedLink AIR program director Stephanie Hill. She adds, “Having our aircraft based outside La Crosse will help us to better cover our entire service area. This will give us greater reach and allow us to handle a greater volume of flights from our regional hospitals and accident scenes. In most cases it will also shorten transport time, especially from some of our remote locations. This should result in better patient outcomes for time-critical emergencies such as stroke and heart attack.”
Gundersen will be using existing medical flight crew during the trial period. Near the end of the trial period Gundersen officials will decide whether to buy the second helicopter.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com