Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa is taking the first steps in resuming medical air service after a helicopter crash earlier this month killed all three on board. A written statement says the hospital will be receiving a helicopter from Med-Trans as early as today as a first step in resuming service.
The Mercy Air Med crew will be training and preparing the necessary medical equipment and supplies for medical transports. The statement says Mercy-North Iowa is “100 percent dedicated to resuming air service,” but an exact date of re-establishing patient transportation is yet to be determined.
The helicopter that the hospital will receive will be temporarily placed at the hospital as the finishing details of Mercy-North Iowa’s permanent helicopter are being completed. Shell Lair-Langenbau, Russ Piehl and pilot Gene Grell were killed when their helicopter crashed a mile north of Ventura on the night of January 2nd.
A preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board last week didn’t point to a cause of the crash, but contained statements from witnesses that showed weather conditions had been icy at the time.
By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City