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HELP Flight Celebrates 30 Years Committed to Serving South Central Montana and Northern Wyoming 24-Hours a Day and…into the future!

September 14, 2009

St. Vincent Healthcare HELP Flight has been committed to transporting and caring for our regions’ seriously ill or injured patients 24-hours a day for the last 30 years. The only air medical transport program in the service area offering both helicopter and fixed wing, HELP Flight is a pledge to healthcare excellence that St. Vincent values and supports for the patients and families of this region.

Established in 1979, H.E.L.P. (Helicopter Emergency Lifesaving Program) Flight was one of the first fifteen hospital-based helicopter air ambulance programs in the United States. Today, The HELP Flight program consists of nearly 50 highly skilled Nurses, Paramedics, Respiratory Therapists, Communication Specialists, Pilots and Mechanics who provide care and transport for adult, pediatric, neonatal and high-risk obstetric patients between medical facilities as well as on-the-scene care and transport for patients on highways, in the mountains or in remote rural areas. This rapid service can save lives and reduce the incidence of disabilities resulting from medical illnesses or traumatic injuries.

HELP Flight Helicopter and Fixed Wing

Helicopter & Fixed Wing Program

St. Vincent Healthcare’s HELP Flight includes both a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft. The helicopter is a Eurocopter EC 135 P1, which is owned and operated by Metro Aviation, Inc. The helicopter’s primary service area is a 150 mile radius from Billings and includes South Central Montana and Northern Wyoming. The fixed-wing aircraft is a Beechcraft King Air B200, which is operated by Edwards Jet Center. The fixed wing service area builds on that of the helicopter to include all of Montana, Wyoming and the Western Dakota’s as well as transports to medical facilities in places like Denver, Colorado, Salt Lake City, Utah, Rochester, MN and Seattle, WA.

HELP Flight completes approximately 500 helicopter and 450 fixed wing patient transports annually; a dedication to rapid rural medical care in a region where medical facilities can often be located hours apart. The program works collaboratively with medical professionals in outlying communities, coordinating the transport and care of patients. The HELP helicopter also provides inter-facility transports to areas that are inaccessible by fixed wing due to the lack of a suitable airport and is often the preferred resource in time-critical situations.

HELP Flight Rural Registry

St. Vincent HELP Flight offers a Rural Registry program at no charge for residents of farms, ranches and other rural areas. Individuals may provide their name, address and GPS coordinates of their residences. This can save precious minutes should they ever require rapid air transport and advanced life support services.

History of Excellence

HELP Flight is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems. CAMTS is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of patient care and safety of the transport environment for services providing rotorwing, fixed wing and ground transport.

HELP Flight was one of the first 15 civilian air medical programs in the nation to adopt night vision goggle technology; equipping not only pilots but all crew members onboard with this technology. Demonstrating a further commitment to the patients of our region, HELP Flight is also the only air medical program in the state that uses a twin-engine helicopter.

The St. Vincent Healthcare HELP Flight program delivers compassionate, rapid, quality care that further exemplifies the more than 110 years of healthcare ministry at St. Vincent. Yesterday’s and today’s flight teams have served and will continue to serve Montana and Northern Wyoming; a commitment to medical excellence and service that exemplifies the St. Vincent Healthcare mission of care.

About St. Vincent Healthcare

St. Vincent Healthcare is a comprehensive system of award-winning healthcare services located in Billings, Montana. St. Vincent is a regional destination hospital which serves a four-state area and more than 900,000 people each year. A comprehensive range of services include a Level II trauma Center, cardiothoracic and vascular medicine, comprehensive cancer services, family-centered maternal and child health – a Level III B NICU & Pediatric Intensive Care Unit – neurosurgery, orthopedics and the region’s most advanced diagnostic services. St. Vincent Healthcare is part of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System. St. Vincent Healthcare’s quality, mission-driven, charitable healthcare has been in existence for more than 110 years. To learn more about St. Vincent Healthcare, visit www.svh-mt.org.