Colorado, US-headquartered air medical service provider Air Methods is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its StarCare base in Lincoln this month. A reception will be held to honour clinicians, crew and other staff who have been a part of the base's history.
StarCare is owned and operated by Air Methods and serves the Lincoln metropolitan area and southeastern Nebraska. Since it opened in 1989, the organisation has flown more than 13,000 missions and cared for more than 12,800 patients. StarCare is one of Air Methods' longest-serving bases, opening nine years after the company was founded, and was the first base in Nebraska with a dedicated fixed-wing aircraft for air medical missions.
“We are tremendously proud of this milestone anniversary for StarCare, especially as it marks 30 years of delivering safe, reliable and high quality care and transport to the residents and visitors of Lincoln and the surrounding areas,” says Air Methods regional business manager Ryan Penrose. “We're looking forward to StarCare delivering excellence in care and air medical services for another 30 years and beyond as the community it serves continues to grow.”
StarCare and the region it serves have both seen significant changes since the company’s founding in 1989. It serves a large and diverse geographical area, including the Lincoln Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has grown from a population of 211,000 in 1989 to more than 331,500 today. StarCare has added new team members and aircraft in that time to serve the area.
StarCare V began as a joint project between Bryan Memorial Hospital, Lincoln General Hospital, Saint Elizabeth Community Health Center, Eastern Ambulance Service, and LinAire. Over 16 years, King Air 100 and 200 fixed wing aircraft outfitted for medical service were used as the service evolved. In 1994, a BK117 helicopter was put in service on a six-month trial basis and StarCare soon determined the rotor service would become a staple at the base.
In 2005, StarCare began using its blue and silver star paint scheme that is now highly recognised in the skies of southeast Nebraska. Most recently, in 2014, the company inaugurated a Bell 407GX helicopter painted with the Air Methods' traditional red, white and blue paint design.
The base is highly involved in the local community, offering emergency medical training classes to area first-responders, tours to residents and community leaders and participating in fundraisers for local organisations.
Air Methods delivers lifesaving care to more than 70,000 people every year. With nearly 40 years of air medical experience, it is a preferred partner for hospitals and one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services in the US. United Rotorcraft is the company's products division, specialising in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. Air Methods' fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features more than 450 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.