Then: In 1979, Mary Lanning Healthcare first had an option open for emergency helicopter transport services. Life Flight, a service at St. Joseph Hospital in Omaha, began offering services in Nebraska that year.
Instead of driving in an ambulance, helicopters could be used to transport patients to other hospitals. Patients could be taken to specialized doctors more quickly, giving patients better outcomes.
Three years later, a much-closer option opened up. Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney started AirCare. Its first mission was March 4, 1982. In 1989, BryanLGH West in Lincoln started StarCare for transports.
Now: The area's newest helicopter service made appearances Thursday at Mary Lanning Healthcare and the Hastings Municipal Airport.
LifeTeam, an air emergency medical transport company based in Kansas, opened a branch in January at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport in Grand Island.
Mike Johnson, director for program development for LifeTeam, said the company evaluated the central Nebraska area during a two-year process to determine whether the service would be a good fit.