Med Flight Staff, Hospital Begin to Heal
In the meantime, area hospitals (including those in Milwaukee, Marshfield, La Crosse, Neenah and Rockford) have stepped in to provide air medical services. UW Hospital's Level 1 Trauma Center, however, continues to receive patients.
In the wake of Saturday's accident, Hanson commented, "It's kind of a surreal situation. I've been overwhelmed by the amount of support. We have a link on [the UW Health website] that people can send condolence messages. There are a lot of messages that are very emotional and touching."
Todd stated, "Air Methods did indeed embrace that recommendation and was well on its way to retrofitting its entire fleet. It is important to note that these aircraft were fully air worthy. The fact that they did not yet have this equipment did not compromise their ability to perform their mission safely."
According to Mike Allen, senior vice president of hospital-based services with Air Methods, approximately 1/3 of all medical transports occur at night. The pilots work a 12-hour normal duty shift. Federal Aviation Administration regulations prevent going over 14 hours.
Air Methods is cooperating fully with the ongoing NTSB investigation. Allen commented that they are waiting for the NTSB report before drawing any conclusions as to the cause of the crash.
When asked how they were dealing with the loss, Hanson responded, "We've lost three brothers a day and a half ago. Young, promising professionals that still had a lot to offer. We'll carry on their professionalism, their skills, their knowledge of flight medicine and their enthusiasm."
A moment of silence was observed across UW Hospital and Clinics late Monday afternoon in honor of Darren Bean, MD, Mark Coyne, RN, and pilot Steve Lipperer.
Date Published: 05/16/2008