June 24, 2024

Med Flight Janesville base opens as the third base outside Madison

UW Health Med Flight at the new Janesville base
The new UW Health Med Flight base at Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville.

MADISON, Wis. – Continuing the work to place emergency services in the regions outside Dane County, UW Health has opened a new Med Flight base in Janesville.

Starting this week, a helicopter and critical care ambulance will be in a specially designed, dedicated hanger at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport.

The base was opened to improve care for adult, pediatric and infant critically ill and injured patients during air and ground transport from areas south and east of Madison, according to Dr. Andrew Cathers, medical director, UW Health Med Flight, and assistant professor of emergency medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

“By placing Med Flight teams in this part of the state, we can decrease the time it takes to get to people in need,” he said.

The new base is the third regional base in the Med Flight landscape. The other Med Flight bases are in Mineral Point to serve the west and southwestern parts of the state and Portage, which serves the north, northeast and north central regions of Wisconsin.

A second pediatric and neonatal care team and ambulance will remain at University Hospital in Madison.

The Janesville location is located much closer to UW Health SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford, Ill., which allows faster response times to patients in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. This base will also extend the specialized capabilities of UW Health Med Flight to this area.

These aspects of care are vital for the most critical patients, especially young children and newborns, according to Marsha Guy, pediatric respiratory therapist, and respiratory therapy coordinator, UW Health Med Flight.

“Bringing pediatric and neonatal critical care services closer to communities is invaluable for saving lives, especially when time is of the essence,” she said. “It not only provides essential medical care but also instills a sense of security within the community, knowing that help is nearby when it’s needed the most.”

The decision to move to a regional base format has been centered on where most transport request calls are coming from, but the regional sites chosen still allow immediate response within Dane County, Cathers said.

From the Med Flight regional bases, UW Health emergency medical teams can rapidly transport ill and injured patients from any hospital or emergency scene to any other hospital, not just UW Health, he said.

“Call data showed that much of the need for our services was coming from outside the immediate Madison area, and so we utilized that data to help in the decision to move our aircraft to Janesville,” he said.