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MercyOne Siouxland to Bless New Air Med Helicopter

Jan 08, 2021 08:45AM ● By MED Magazine

MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center held a Catholic blessing of its new MercyOne Air Med helicopter on December 16. Father Gus Peter (pictured) blessed the Bell 429 and its crew with holy water and crew members were presented with protection metals depicting St. Christopher, the patron saint of travel.

The new, two-engine helicopter is larger and faster than the Bell 407 it replaces, allowing more efficient in-flight care by Air Med flight nurses. 

“We have full access to our patients in our new helicopter. Before, we had [access to] the chest up, but now we have head-to-toe access; we can move around the helicopter,” says MercyOne flight nurse Ethan Neff. “If we have something that needs to be done in the air, we can do that now, instead of having to make sure everything’s done on the ground before we head out.”

The Bell 429 was ushered into service in Sioux City following the Thanksgiving holiday and transports patients from a 33-county region to MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center, the only Level II Trauma Center in Western Iowa.