New Mercy Hospital Helicopter - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

New Mercy Hospital Helicopter

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A major labor union ranks North Dakota last for worker safety.

The AFL-CIO says the state's death rate on the job is highest in the country.

And the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports half of the worker fatalities since 2010 have been in oil and gas jobs.

Along with the deaths, come injuries.

In Williston, Mercy Medical Center is dealing with the higher number of serious injuries by providing a new service to get patients the care they need as quickly as possible.

Gary Brode takes us for a ride in Mercy's new Guardian Flight helicopter.

 

Williston has seen its accident totals continue to rise.

Mercy Medical responded to this increase ... with a faster way to respond.

An emergency helicopter is the newest addition to the hospitals response team.

(Trent Massie, Pilot, Guardian Flight) "It's a brand new state of the art machine, it's got the best avionics that are available... cruises 150 plus mph, so good ship for the area."

After researching potential sites Guardian Flight contacted Mercy Medical.

With the population influx, the phone call came at the perfect time.

(Dr. Wayne Anderson, Chief of Surgery, Mercy Medical Center) "This such a great addition. With all of the traffic, its hard for our ambulance to get out to the scene. We can bypass all that traffic with the helicopter and still provide the same advanced level of trauma care."

(Gary Brode, gbrode@kxnet.com) "With the new partnership between Mercy Medical and Guardian Flight, this emergency room will now not only be able to help those in Williston, but anyone within a 300 mile radius."

(Shanon Pollock, Vice President, Guardian Flight) "We'll be able to cover all of it. This entire region and we have worked with each of the other facilities, EMS agencies, not just here in Williston. To make sure that we are all on the same page from a communication perspective so that we can facilitate faster patient transportation."

Each flight team will have a minimum of four people at all times.

It is a responsibility members of the team take very seriously.

(Dave Cavins, Flight Nurse, Guardian Flight) "We pride ourselves on the education that we have, the training, and just the cohesiveness of the hospital."

The longtime nurse says it's a whole different world saving lives in the air compared to the control on the ground.

Ultimately, the most important reason for the new aerial addition is simple...

(Matt Grimshaw, President, Mercy Medical Center) "At the end of the day, anything we can do to shorten transportation time, in a life-saving situation, is better for our patient."

Dropping the response time and increasing chance of survival.

In Williston, Gary Brode, KX News.

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