MADISON, Wis. -- Med Flight crews will take to the skies once again Friday morning, 13 days after the helicopter crash that killed three returning from an flight to La Crosse.
Dr. Bruce Lindsay, medical director of Med Flight, announced the resumption of service at a press conference today.
"No one wants to get back in the air more than the dedicated members of our Med Flight crew," Dr. Lindsay said. "They are passionate about what they do."
Med Flight will use one helicopter from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. initially, with night time service handled by other area medical helicopters.
Getting the service back in the air during daytime hours on Memorial Day weekend was the goal for Med Flight.
"Those hours (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) are peak hours for Med Flight calls," Dr. Lindsay said. "We felt it was extremely important to resume patient flights for the busy Memorial Day weekend."
Confidence flights for crew members were taken earlier this week as Med Flight and UW Hospital staff recovered from their shock and grief over losing flight physician Dr. Darren Bean, flight nurse Mark Coyne and pilot Steve Lipperer in the helicopter crash May 10.
Medical flight services from northern Illinois and Wisconsin were handling medical flights locally following the crash.
Dr. Lindsay said calls from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. would be handled "as they would be if Med Flight was already out on a flight."
Medical emergency helicopters are part of a network helping each other if the local service is already involved in a flight and another helicopter is needed.
Med Flight had two helicopters under lease from Air Methods Inc. in Denver. The service will fly one helicopter until the second aircraft is replaced by Air Methods.