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News Release

Mercy One service launches in Knoxville

November 17, 2010

The ribbon had barely been cut at the Knoxville airport on Monday, Nov. 15 when the flight crew received its first call to transport a patient to Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines. Three patients have been transported in the Knoxville based helicopter in just two full days of operation. Mercy announced in July 2010 that it would expand its air ambulance fleet to two helicopters to meet an increasing demand for service.

“The Knoxville Mercy One crew and aircraft completed back to back flights on their first day of operations,” said Dan Keough, director of emergency transport services at Mercy. “We are very excited to expand our fleet and base our second aircraft in Knoxville. We have seen a large increase in the number of requests for air ambulance transport from this area. A second aircraft will allow us to respond faster to rural areas in southeast Iowa.”

To commemorate the beginning of the new helicopter’s service, Mercy One crew members, Knoxville and Marion County law enforcement, fire and EMS, and the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce and city officials held a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday.

Currently, Mercy One serves a 75-mile radius around Des Moines with the state’s fastest air ambulance—the world’s first Bell 429 medical helicopter. A Bell 407 helicopter is stationed at the Knoxville airport to better serve areas south and east of Des Moines. Communities that will benefit from the second helicopter include: Knoxville, Pella, Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, Albia, Centerville, Chariton, Corydon and Bloomfield.

In 2009, Mercy One received 1,320 requests for transport, of those 433 came from the southeast Iowa corridor. Mercy One made 714 actual flights in 2009, with 264 of those coming from southeast Iowa.

Contact Gregg Lagan
Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines

515-247-3050
cell 515-490-6636


1111 6th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50314 (515) 247-3121
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