Flight For Life announces new base at Burlington Municipal Airport

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BURLINGTON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Flight For Life, an emergency transport service, announced a new base in Burlington, Wisconsin -- located at the Burlington Municipal Airport. 

Right now, Flight For Life does about 600 flights a year from its central base in Waukesha.

"Our volume is roughly 50% north of I-94 and 50% south of I-94," said Flight For Life Executive Director Leif Erickson.

According to a news release, the expansion will advance Flight For Life's overall mission to provide Wisconsin communities research-based critical care transport services by decreasing response times to injuries in Southern Wisconsin, including Racine, Walworth, and Kenosha Counties, therefore improving patient outcomes.

At a consultant's word they realized to better serve Southern Wisconsin communities, they needed to expand.

Erickson said they eyed other locations, but Burlington made the most sense.

"When you look at our volume, Burlington is pretty much the center of our volume. And from any emergency standpoint, emergency services, you try to put your resources in the center," he explained.

With the approval of the Burlington Common Council, Flight For Life will open a base of operations in late September at the Burlington Municipal Airport and operate out of a temporary leased hangar while a permanent hangar location at the airport can be identified and constructed.

"It's huge, because we're having another level of emergency care," said Burlington Mayor Jeanie Hefty. “We are excited to welcome our long-time partners into our community. Bringing Flight For Life into Burlington strengthens our emergency response network and ensures that the citizens of this community have access to premier health care services."

Erickson said their general response time is about 20 minutes.

A southern base would help cut some flight times in half.

"You always talk about the 'golden hour' -- time of onset of the accident or of the injury, even the onset of a medical condition that necessitates a quick response. The quicker we can facilitate that, the better off those patients are," said Flight For Life Nurse Ann Mirsberger.

Flight For Life says the Burlington base is one component in a number of strategic initiatives they will be announcing in the near future.

The search for a location for a northern base is currently underway.

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