Ascension Wisconsin Spirit adds Fixed Wing Medical Transport Program
Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport (Spirit) has initiated critical care fixed wing (airplane) transport in addition to its award winning interfacility critical care ambulance and medical helicopter transport program.
This new service “Spirit 3” will enhance medical transport services by transporting patients to cities inside and outside of Spirit’s service area. International Air Charters, Inc., will provide all aviation services including the aircraft, pilots and maintenance.
“We are excited to add the first fixed wing base in north central Wisconsin,” said Charlie Kotke, regional manager, Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport. “The airplane allows us to provide the continuity of care for patients as they move from one hospital to another, or for longer transports due to the enhanced range and speed of the aircraft.”
The airplane, a Cessna Conquest II, is a medically-configured twin-turboprop that is based at Lakeland Airport/Noble F. Lee Memorial Field, Arbor Vitae and can travel at speeds of more than 350 mph.
Spirit’s highly-trained medical crew consists of a critical care registered nurse and a critical care paramedic. The airplane has been outfitted with the Spectrum Patient Loading System which is versatile, lightweight and compact. Spirit’s first fixed wing transport recently traveled from Eagle River to Rockford, IL to meet the specific request of the patient.
“This new fixed wing service supports our mission of meeting the needs of patients in the rural setting and challenging weather of north central Wisconsin when seconds count,” said Ted Ryan, Director, Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport. “This essential element adds to our comprehensive approach of providing exceptional critical care medical services in the communities we serve, and beyond.”
Spirit’s 24/7, regionally based, Communications Center coordinates the fixed wing transport of patients from the hospital to the airport and from the airport to the receiving hospital. Spirit’s critical care crew members accompany the patient during each leg of the transport until the patient is safe and secure at the receiving facility. The fixed wing service is available on a part-time basis to back up Spirit’s two medical helicopters; Spirit 1 and Spirit 2.
For 25 years, CAMTS accredited Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport has been the region’s leading link providing more than 50,000 safe and timely critical care transports for patients via critical care interfacility ground ambulances, two medical helicopters; Spirit 1 based in Stevens Point and Spirit 2 based in Woodruff, and now Spirit 3, a fixed wing airplane based in Arbor Vitae.