JOPLIN, MO.--- After 21 years of partnering together, Medflight and Mercy Hospital will no longer be working side by side. The hospital has decided to use the Mercy owned helicopter program called "Lifeline." This means Medflight will not be based at the Mercy landing site anymore, starting tomorrow.
"This is a new chapter for us," said Rod Pace, Medflight Director.
Medflight is soaring into new directions.
"There's lots and lots of changes in healthcare. Critical care and medical transport is no different," said Pace.
Changes flying into Mercy Hospital Joplin have caused Medflight to leave their home of 21 years.
"Truthfully, there's been some emotional times for the flight crew, especially, for the ones who have been here a long time. St. John's was always home for us, that is were the program started," said Pace.
Mercy decided to part ways to bring in a Mercy Lifeline Helicopter Service.
"We just feel like, because we own this helicopter service, it's the right thing to bring here and actually it will help reduce costs for the patients here in Joplin," said Michelle Stewart, Mercy C.O.O.
A 14 member crew has been hired, and services are expected to begin November 10th. As for Medflight, it will now operate out of the Joplin Regional Airport.
"We think this is going to be good for the flight program. Streamlines our fleet a little bit more because we have a program in Rogers and we also have one in Nevada. So, operationally it's more efficient for us," said Pace.
Medflight will begin its new chapter with a brand new aircraft decked out with new technology.
"It has the glass cockpit, it has moving map weather, moving map gps, night vision goggle capable," said Pace.
Something the program's current staff will enjoy- Medflight is keeping its 12 member crew.
"We maintain that level of experience, expertise that we've enjoyed for 20 years," said Pace.
Medflight will remain servicing the area just as they have for those 21 years. The program will begin using the new helicopter mid-November.
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