Better Late Than Never

 - February 2, 2007, 8:50 AM

Southwest Nebraska will receive its first-ever air ambulance in May–a Bell 407 operated by MedStar. Under current arrangements, hospitals or EMS agencies have to summon airborne services that are based nearly 100 miles away. The new flight service will be permanently based at McCook, Neb.

The MedStar helicopter will serve as a regional asset for hospitals and clinics out to 100 miles from McCook and deliver the patient to the most appropriate facility. It will be available 24/7 with a flight nurse and paramedic on board for every call, capable of treating traumatic injuries and medical emergencies.

Apart from the local medical team, the helicopter, pilots and mechanic will come from Med-Trans Corp. of Bismarck, N.D. Med-Trans owns 15 aircraft and operates 13 aeromedical programs in North and South Dakota, Arizona, California, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas and South Carolina. It claims more than 20 years of accident-free service, recently receiving an Operator Safety Award from HAI.

Tom Rohlfs, Med-Trans senior vice president of business development, said, “The new service will be a tremendous asset to our communities and citizens. I believe it will save lives and further reduce morbidity.”