Air Ambulance Services Expanding Across State - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Air Ambulance Services Expanding Across State

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BUTTE -

Last month Life Flight Network made a new home at Butte's Bert Mooney Airport.

"We've been evaluating Butte for well over a year, and throughout my evaluation of the area, I think this is a very needed area for air ambulance services," said Dominic Pomponio.

Life Flight thought Butte to be a perfect location to expand its fleet that ranges throughout the northwest region of the country.

"Patients need to come from rural facilities to larger facilities where the hospitals can support greater specialties," said Flight Nurse, John Indrehus. "So that's why we are seeing air medical services going into business in communities like Butte."

"Everything you see inside this helicopter is basically what you would find in any emergency department or critical care unit," said Pomponio.

Air ambulance services have grown across the state, creating a competitive component in the industry.

In recent years, air medical services have started out of airports in Missoula, Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls, and now Butte.

"We're reacting and responding to a very clear need," said Matthew Hobbs, a flight paramedic. "This area, the Butte area, has been on several service air providers radar for quite a while, and it's just been a matter of timing and putting things together."

Life Flight out of Butte will work in a 150 mile radius in southwestern Montana, and at times will compete with other services in the same region.

"Putting the aircraft in Butte will allow us to respond much quicker to areas such as Dillon, Anaconda-Deer Lodge, Butte, the greater surrounding area like Helena and Bozeman," said Pomponio.

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