(WILLISTON, ND) – A new air ambulance gets off the ground today in Williston. Trinity Health has launched a regional fixed wing emergency transport service out of Williston that will be an extension of its Minot-based NorthStar Criticair helicopter and airplane services. The Williston service is up and running as of today, December 13.
Lorrie Antos, Director of Critical Care Services, says the new transport is called NorthStar Criticair Fixed Wing Williston and is available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, to provide medical transport for patients from Williston and surrounding communities.
‘We’re excited to provide this extension of our NorthStar Criticair service,’ she said. ‘There’s been a need for reliable air transport out of Williston. We feel very fortunate and privileged to be part of Williston’s medical community, and we’re committed to doing all we can to give the very best care to patients.’
Each NorthStar Fixed Wing Williston mission will be staffed by a dedicated flight crew consisting of a pilot, paramedic and critical care nurse, who will be on call 24/7. ‘We’ll fly to any receiving facility,’ said Antos, ‘typically it would be a specialized facility outside of the region.’
The aircraft is equipped to fly pediatric and adult missions, including high-risk labor/delivery patients. ‘Our critical care helicopter out of Minot will continue to provide transport for neonatal missions,’ Antos added, ‘and the helicopter will serve the region as it has since 1992 with critical care transport and rescue.’
As is the case with its Minot-based rotor and fixed wing services, Trinity Health is collaborating with Executive Air Taxi Corp. to provide aircraft, pilots, and maintenance expertise. The aircraft, a King Air 90, is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation to ensure that clinical teams can provide exceptional care for patients. In addition, the cabin is large enough to accommodate a patient’s family member, if appropriate for the situation.
The Williston service is the first geographic expansion of NorthStar Criticair, which was established by Trinity Health in 1992 as a critical care helicopter and was expanded in 2015 to include fixed wing capability. Mark Chilson, NorthStar’s lead paramedic, will oversee the Williston service, which will be dispatched by Trinity’s Direct and Dispatch communication center in Minot.