Clarinda Regional Health Center has entered into an agreement with Mercy Medical Center - Des Moines and Air Methods/LifeNet to base an air ambulance at the Clarinda medical center.
The Bell 407 helicopter will initially cover a 40-mile radius around Clarinda. With the ability to transport patients to medical centers in Omaha, Lincoln, Des Moines and St. Joseph, Mo., the air ambulance will mean faster transport times for trauma cases, said Chris Stipe, the regional health center's CEO, in a release. Currently, emergencies requiring air evacuation in southwest Iowa or northwest Missouri are handled by helicopters based at the nearest urban hospitals.
The air ambulance will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, beginning in September. Mercy, which currently has one helicopter based in Des Moines and another in Knoxville, will staff the third air ambulance's medical crew and plans to hire 11 additional flight paramedics and flight nurses who will be based in Clarinda.
Air Methods, which will operate the helicopter, will hire four additional pilots and a mechanic for the new service.