Trinity Health Community Ambulance Service and NorthStar Criticair have integrated ground and air ambulance services under one division line, officially known as Trinity Health First Response.
Community Ambulance Service has served the region since 1981 and is the largest Advanced Life Support provider, responding to nearly 11,000 calls annually within a 2,000-square-miles area. NorthStar Criticair has provided critical care response and rescue for 30 years to northwestern North Dakota and eastern Montana through its Minot-based helicopter and fixed-wing services in Minot and Williston. A notable improvement will be the availability of First Response air ambulance services to transport patients to any facility within the United States.
“While the First Response helicopter can accept missions within 150 miles, the fixed-wing aircraft has the capacity to transport patients anywhere across the country,’ said Amy Thomas, director of Transport Services and First Response. “This capability allows us to streamline emergency transportation efforts, saving time and possibly the lives of those whom we are entrusted to deliver safely and quickly to their destination.”
In addition to ground and air transportation, First Response services include First Call dispatch center and the EMS education center. First Call dispatch center receives and coordinates all incoming radio and telephone communications concerning air/ground medical transport, as well as provider consults and requests for transfers to Trinity Hospital from other facilities. The First Response EMS Education Center provides certification as specified by the American Heart Association (AHA) and offers education from entry level CPR and first-aid, to advanced healthcare provider courses. The staff also teaches a variety of EMS classes designed for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Paramedics.
“Locating all services under the Trinity Health First Response umbrella provides a trusted name in patient care and supports a collaborative approach to resource allocation that better serves our partners and customers when they need us most,” Thomas added.
Leaders within the service lines include: Amy Thomas, Transport Services and First Response director; Tami Petersen Ness, EMS education coordinator; Sharla Ramirez, chief paramedic ground ambulance; Heather Goff, First Call dispatch center supervisor; Eric Demory, nurse manager air ambulance.