Ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held recently for the new Hot Springs base of Black Hills Life Flight, which began operations on June 7th. Life Flight’s only other Black Hills base is in Rapid City.
The Hot Springs base is at the Hot Springs Ambulance Service, an unusual arrangement even though ambulances and medical helicopters work together closely on calls.
Ambulance Service Director of Operations Jacki Conlon said they’ve worked a long time to get a helicopter based in Hot Spring because transport time to a major hospital such as Monument Health Rapid City is a critical factor in emergencies.
South Dakota Secretary of Health Melissa Magstadt took part in the ribbon-cutting and said Black Hills Life Flight doesn’t just move a patient, it provides the equivalent of an entire ICU with its modern technology, equipment, and trained personnel.
Black Hills Life Flight is part of Air Methods, the leading air medical provider in the United States. Air Methods spokesman Darryl Crown said they’re committed to providing best-trained crews and safest aircraft in the industry to the Southern Hills.