Since 1979, the St. Vincent HELP Flight program has provided air transportation for seriously ill or injured patients throughout our region. The program was a pioneer in air medical services and continues to be at the forefront of hospital-based flight services with the unveiling of its brand new King Air 250C fixed wing aircraft.
“Our top priority is the safety of our patients and crew,” said Sam Kaufman, St. Vincent Healthcare Director of Emergency Services. “This aircraft allows for a safer, more comfortable flight for the patient and crew due to its cutting edge technology and state of the art weather navigation system, additional space and weight capacity, and the ability to carry more specialized equipment.”
“Rapid access to a higher level of medical care can save lives and reduce the incidence of disabilities,” added BJ Gilmore, St. Vincent Healthcare Chief Nursing Officer. “If there’s a severe car accident on the interstate with critical injuries, our HELP Flight helicopter is able to respond to the scene and transport them back to St. Vincent Healthcare quickly. Then, if that victim needs higher level care — due to severe burns, for example — our HELP Flight fixed wing airplane can transport them to a larger hospital with a burn unit.”
The St. Vincent HELP Flight team transports adult and pediatric patients with medical illness or trauma related injuries transported from hospitals, clinics and accident scenes. HELP Flight also has specially trained teams for transporting high-risk pregnancies, premature and full-term babies in need of specialty care.
“Improving the health of the communities we serve is at the core of who we are at St. Vincent Healthcare. By expanding our HELP Flight Program with the addition of this new fixed wing demonstrates our commitment to serving those in critical need throughout Montana and beyond,” said Michael Skehan, St. Vincent Healthcare Interim President.
The St. Vincent air medical program includes two fixed-wing aircrafts and a helicopter. The fixed-wing aircrafts transport patients throughout the country, while the helicopter transports patients within a 150 mile radius of Billings.
The flight team includes Flight Registered Nurses with critical care experience, Flight Paramedics, Flight Respiratory Therapists, Neonatal and Maternal Flight Specialists, and Flight Communications Specialists. The Flight RNs and Paramedics are specially trained in critical and emergency pre-hospital care and provide transport care, which is coordinated under the direction of an emergency department physician at St. Vincent Healthcare.
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