MercyOne Air Med is lifting off with a new aircraft and crew.
Joining us is Jenna Rehnstrom with MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center and Nik Gonzales, MercyOne Air Med manager.
What does MercyOne's air ambulance service mean for the Siouxland area?
Jenna Rehnstrom: It means continued air ambulance care, in our community, serving a 33-county area. Basically, if you can see this broadcast, that's who we serve as a hospital and as Air Med as well. And now, MercyOne Air Med is a hospital-based flight crew, which is a good thing for our community and for MercyOne as well.
So they will be based in the hospital?
What changes or improvements have been made in the way you offer that air ambulance service to your patients?
Nik Gonzales: So now we are part of the trauma system at Mercy, and we're also a part of a network of helicopters across Iowa. So now we're part of four helicopters.
Jenna Rehnstrom: What's great too is that they're at the hospital 24/7, 365 days year so you're able to check in with the ER staff to see if they need help, check-in at ICU and create that continuum of care for our hospital.
MercyOne has been re-certified as a Level II Trauma Center, one of only four in Iowa. What does Air Med add?
Nik Gonzales: Well, we're part of that continuum of care so going out into the community, bringing those patients back and continuing to provide that care, not just stopping at the bedside, but also helping out in the ER or wherever they might pull us to help. That care just keeps going.
The buildup to this moment has been a while so now it's here and you take off.
Jenna Rehnstrom: And of course, there's a helicopter right in town, a helipad at the hospital, but a new one coming too in the Spring.
And you've got training too.
Jenna Rehnstrom: We have crews out in the local areas doing local EMS crews, EMT crews, so they can come and serve those folks and make it a safe situation, wherever they're providing trauma care.