Are there limitations on who can be transported?
Air Link does not fly newborns from the neonatal intensive care unit. There are size/weight criteria for adult patients, which are evaluated on an individual basis. Patients must be able to fit into the helicopter’s somewhat limited space. With the addition of the Pilatus PC-12 airplane, Air Link can accommodate larger patients; however, it depends greatly on the weight distribution. Air Link does not currently fly patients with balloon pumps or patients in which active CPR is in progress.
Can you fly in any weather?
No. When a flight request is received, the pilots conduct a weather check. Each flight request is evaluated individually and safety is always at the forefront. Med-Trans Corporation and Guardian Flight have specific weather minimums by which the pilots abide.
Do all patients that Air Link flies go back to Regional West or can I choose?
The sending provider (the one requesting air medical transport) determines to which facility the patient will be sent. There must be physician-to-physician contact made between the sending and receiving facility for hospital-to-hospital transfers. Flights requested to transport the patient from a scene other than the hospital are handled differently, and the patient is transferred to the closest appropriate facility.
Does Regional West own Air Link?
Regional West partners with two aircraft companies; Med-Trans Corporation for the helicopter, and Guardian Flight for the airplane. Together, the hospital and our partners operate a hybrid program which allows the hospital to provide the clinical crew members for the two aircrafts, while Med-Trans Corporation and Guardian Flight own the aircrafts and employ the pilots and mechanics.
How far can Air Link fly?
The Air Link helicopter’s capability is greater than a 150-mile radius around Scottsbluff, Nebr. We can easily travel as far north as Rapid City, east to Kearney, south to Denver, and west to Casper.
The Air Link PC-12 airplane generally operates in a five-state area including Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, and Kansas. However, since the airplane is a regional asset for Regional West Medical Center, the Air Link PC-12 and crew also fly to other states to accommodate the transport needs of Regional West Medical center and its patients.