By Anne Polta, West Central Tribune, Monday July 1, 2013 —WILLMAR – Life Link III is moving its regional helicopter base from Hutchinson to the Willmar Municipal Airport, effective today. The move will place the helicopter base closer to a greater population of patients served by Life Link III.
Health officials called it “a great move” for the region. “Having the Life Link III base in Willmar means improved response times, and faster transport for patients requiring critical or trauma care,” said Mike Schramm, chief executive of Rice Memorial Hospital.
Edward Eroe, president and chief executive of Life Link, said the new base will help save critical minutes when responding to calls throughout western Minnesota. “Moving the helicopter to Willmar will allow us to provide lifesaving care and transportation to patients in many locations faster than ever before,” he said.
The helicopter also serves central Minnesota, including its old base at Hutchinson. The Bell 407 helicopter transports patients from any hospital in the area. It also airlifts patients directly from the scene of a traffic crash or other accident at the request of emergency medical services or fire or law enforcement personnel.