MADISON (WKOW) — Madison-based Med Flight is adding a third location in Wisconsin.
A helicopter base will be set up in Portage at Divine Savior Healthcare. With the addition of the Portage base, Med Flight now will have three bases.
Med Flight also operates a regional base at the Iowa County Airport to respond to medical emergencies in southwestern Wisconsin. A third helicopter is stationed at University Hospital, a Level I trauma center, one of only two in Wisconsin.
Officials say a helicopter in Portage will get patients to a hospital 20 minutes faster, compared to flying from Madison.
“That 20 to 25 minutes can mean a lot,” said University Hospital’s Division Chief of Prehospital Medicine Ryan Wubben. “If you’re having a heart attack, they talk about things like time is muscle, you know, with each passing minute you’re potentially harming the heart muscle itself, so we want to get you to the cath lab as fast as possible.”
In addition to quicker response times, physicians and nurses will get to patients with life-threatening trauma and medical conditions faster. Med Flight is among only a handful of medical helicopter programs in the country that provide a physician on every flight.
The Portage base is scheduled to begin operations in Summer, 2019.