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      Air ambulance permanently lands in Dickinson County

      Valley Med Flight is a new critical care air ambulance service that has permanently landed in the Upper Peninsula.

      Although they work side by side with Northwoods Airlifeline, the two offer different services.

      "Northwoods is more of a transportation service," explains Integrated First Response Great Lakes owner and manager Andy Hay.

      This air ambulance takes patient care to the next level, fully stocking their fixed-wing plane with a paramedic and a nurse at one time. Hay believes the whole U.P. can benefit by residents "having an air ambulance in your own backyard."

      Not only will patients in an emergency situation not have to wait for help to come from outside the Upper Peninsula, but the plane can make the trips faster than any medical helicopters. The plane can fly 128 mph faster than a helicopter.

      "Time is tissue," says chief flight paramedic Jacob Keller. "The faster a patient can get to a facility... the better the patient does."

      An airplane, opposed to a helicopter, allows for a more comfortable trip for both patients and staff.

      "I can walk pretty much all around the patient," Keller says. "You don't have that option in a lot of medical aircrafts. That's actually one of the mere reasons we chose this airplane in general is we have a lot more room to deal with patient."

      The Valley Med Team is eight patients in so far and hope when time matters, others will make them their first call.