MercyOne North Iowa upgrading medical aircraft

A new Bell 429, complete with more interior room and advanced navigation and communications equipment, will take to the skies next month

Posted: Sep 3, 2020 2:43 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Medical helicopters are a useful option for medics to use in an emergency. One North Iowa is upgrading its fleet.

Starting next month, MercyOne North Iowa will be flying a light, twin engine Bell 429 GlobalRanger, a state of the art twin-engine vessel that has more room for personnel to move around and treat patients, as well as advanced navigation and communications equipment, including real-time satellite communications and tracking. 

Airmed program manager Bryan Williams has been a flight nurse for about 21 years, and has seen the evolution of medical aircraft over time.

"In 1999, we started with the Bell 206, which we flew that for about 10 years. We had a period in there where we were in an A-Star Eurocopter-type of aircraft. Then we went into a Bell 407, and we've been flying that for 8 years. It's been a great aircraft, it has a lot of power, it fits our mission profile really well. This'll be another transition to add more bells and whistles that we haven't had."

"The avionics allow us to be able to fly in the clouds so we can fly what's called an IFR, instrument flight rules, and that way if we have bad weather, if there are certain conditions that match, we can actually get off the ground and get into the clouds to get to the patient. The Bell 429 has the best avionics that you can have in a medical aircraft and it allows us to do things that we have been able to do in awhile and actually do a few things more. We're really excited as a crew to get the aircraft and put it into service."

Williams says his crew gets about 500 calls a year, with the peak of those calls typically during the summer.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 485655

Reported Deaths: 6558
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1007641586
Ramsey43106801
Dakota36297390
Anoka33293385
Washington22078256
Stearns18734201
St. Louis14805262
Scott13290107
Wright12526115
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Carver772640
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Otter Tail482170
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Winona418349
Mower404731
Douglas392668
Nobles387047
Goodhue385768
Polk343162
McLeod339349
Beltrami337951
Morrison324547
Itasca313046
Lyon313044
Becker311342
Isanti306154
Steele300411
Carlton300149
Pine282016
Freeborn280723
Nicollet258641
Todd248030
Brown245037
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Mille Lacs227447
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Meeker207434
Martin189528
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Unassigned46768
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 362827

Reported Deaths: 5440
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58260551
Linn20670313
Scott18318210
Black Hawk16258292
Woodbury14979211
Johnson1384874
Dubuque13562194
Dallas1138690
Pottawattamie10791143
Story1024945
Warren556674
Clinton543784
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Webster519587
Marshall497272
Sioux494869
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Des Moines458861
Muscatine452291
Wapello4345108
Jasper417766
Plymouth395378
Lee375452
Marion359169
Jones294154
Henry293337
Carroll286249
Bremer280854
Crawford275135
Boone259730
Washington254347
Benton253854
Mahaska224746
Jackson221638
Dickinson217840
Tama213765
Kossuth208555
Clay193625
Hamilton192142
Delaware189140
Winneshiek189127
Buchanan185729
Fayette185235
Page183319
Hardin181439
Wright179931
Harrison179469
Cedar178523
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Butler167231
Mills163020
Floyd162741
Cherokee154836
Madison154718
Poweshiek154330
Hancock147130
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Lyon145941
Iowa145023
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Grundy139230
Jefferson138734
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Louisa128241
Union126631
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Sac124618
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Franklin118319
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Guthrie116628
Palo Alto105221
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Unassigned9900
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Ida91432
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Monona81627
Greene77510
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Osceola70615
Worth6997
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