Wings Air Rescue (Wings One) landed at the Mapleton Airport on Aug. 26 for a training session with members of the Mapleton Ambulance and Mapleton Fire Department.

The main information that was provided during the training was how to prepare a site for the helicopter. Main topics that were covered included how to select the best and safest place to land the helicopter, how to approach the aircraft when it lands, and how to prepare a patient to be loaded into the aircraft.

Brent Streck with the Mapleton Ambulance said there are three major cases that would justify the need to transport a patient by air – vehicle accident, heart attack, and stroke.

“In these and other cases the major factor against the patient is time,” Streck said. “To transport from the Mapleton area to Sioux City, even running emergent, is about 40 minutes. The average time to fly the patient by helicopter is 12 minutes. Saving that time could mean life or death.”

According to the Wings Air Rescue website, www.neaams.org, beginning in 1987 as Mercy Air Care, it was initially based at the Mercy Medical Center and transitioned in 2013 to a base at the Sioux City Airport.

In 2019, it’s operator, Med-Trans Corporation, transitioned it to a neutral branded Wings Air Rescue Base under the call sign of Wings One. They’ve maintained the aircraft in a hangar along with their crew quarters, office space, and sleeping facilities. Staffing is a 24/7 operation.

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