Air Methods moves base to increase response time

Teresa Farnsworth (left), area manager for Air Methods, and Dana Boke, mayor for the City of Spearfish. Black Hills Pioneer Photo

US air medical provider Air Methods has announced that its Black Hill Life Flight programme will open its new Spearfish community air medical base this summer.

Dana Boke, Mayor of the South Dakota city, signed the contract to approve the base move on 4 June and was enthusiastic about the new venture: “Air Methods has been a pleasure to work with. Their presence in Spearfish will provide a quicker response time in critical life situations for many people and their families. This is very good for Spearfish and all of the surrounding communities.”

The base had previously operated from Rapid City, but the move will help to reach more people in need, Dave Richardson, Senior Vice-President at Air Methods, asserted: “One in every three of our flights cross state lines. This base move will help improve access to critical care services and interventions for more communities.”

The new base will serve citizens in Spearfish, as well as Northern Black Hills, eastern Wyoming and Montana, and southern North Dakota. It will be staffed 24/7, with a total of 13 staff members, including EMS pilots, flight nurses, flight paramedics and aviation maintenance technicians. It will operate a Bell 407 at the Black Hills Airport/Clyde Ice Field and with the support services of Eagle Aviation.

“We offer a flying ICU, bringing experienced trauma clinicians to the patient. Air medical services serve as a bridge between rural communities and healthcare systems, and we believe that everyone deserves access to these lifesaving services,” added Richardson.

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