Fargo Airmed Takes Flight Each Day to Ensure Community’s Safety
On average, the team completes on-site pick-ups and transfers three times per day
FARGO– Emergency responders work tirelessly each and every day to save the lives of people in our community.
While many do their work in hospitals on the ground, others are working above us.
“You never know walking through the door when your first call is going to come in, sometimes it’s coming in as you’re walking through the door, so you gotta get those checks done quick and get rolling,” Fargo Sanford Airmed flight nurse supervisor Brent Lawson said.
On average, the Fargo Sanford Airmed team responds to three emergency calls daily.
This means the team needs to have the helicopter equipped with medical supplies in order to take flight in a safe and timely manner.
“This is what we do every day so it’s their emergency but it’s our job so just to stay calm, be confident, and give them the best care that we can,” Fargo Sanford Airmed flight paramedic supervisor Emily Ward said.
Once the flight crew receives the call, the goal is to be out within 15 minutes.
This means having their fire resistant gear on and safety helmets all to make sure they’re out on a minutes notice.
“Safety is our biggest concern,” Lawson said. “We make sure all of the bells and whistles are working and all of the equipment that we have is on board.”
The helicopter travels within a radius of 120 miles when transporting patients.
The pilot is always accompanied by at least one paramedic and one flight nurse.
Fargo Airmed’s Chief Flight Nurse says having trust in your partner and knowing that you will be able to take care of your patient is crucial.
“It’s really knowing that I’m making an impact on someone’s life,” Heather Lundeby said. “They’re having the emergency and knowing that I can be there and help change that for them, that’s really the most rewarding part for me.”
I took flight with Brent, who has been with the team for over three years.
Brent’s goal of being a flight nurse was always in the back of his mind and says his job is one of his biggest accomplishments.
“At the end of the day I try to take advantage of the opportunity I was given to do a job like this,” Lawson said. “It was my calling and I feel like I was put here to do this job and I try to keep that in mind on every call that I go on, that I’m here to help these people that need help.”
When asked how he manages to keep calm in high stress situations he faces on a daily basis…
“I get asked that quite a bit,” Lawson said. “I guess experience. You kind of, it is another day but you never know what your next day is going to be. You never know what the next call is going to be. Every day is a different experience.”
And that uncertainty is what some say is not only the most stressful part of the job but also the best part.
“You just have to be adaptable in every situation so we don’t always know what we’re walking into but we just have to roll with it,” Ward said.
“At the end of the day I’m taking care of patients that really need help,” Lawson said. “You gotta keep that grounded in the back of your mind every day.”
With every day comes a new and unexpected challenge, but the goal remains the same for the Airmed team, patients and safety first.
The Fargo Airmed team takes a plane when responding to calls at longer distances.
The Fargo team travels to North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota when completing on-site pick-ups and transfers.