Regional Emergency and Level II Trauma Center
The Williams-Ario Regional Emergency and Trauma Center at Benefis East Campus is a Level II Trauma Center, and is one of the largest and busiest Emergency Departments (ED) in Montana. With 16 general-care exams rooms, three critical-care trauma rooms and 12,000 square feet of space, the ED is fully equipped to treat its more than 34,000 patients per year.
All patients are triaged or processed for emergent or non-emergent care areas depending on the level of care they need. The ED is staffed with board-certified or board-eligible physicians, with double coverage 16 hours per day. The "ER Minor" is staffed by family nurse practitioners that treat patients with non-urgent medical needs.
The ED is adjacent to operating rooms, radiology and laboratory services, and has direct and private routes to critical care areas that are not publicly accessible.
For many, there is no greater satisfaction than reconnecting with nature in Big Sky Country. Exploring Montana through our beautiful hiking trails, serene lakes, lively rivers, and majestic mountains is a common hobby for many residents of our great state. Whether out floating the Smith River or hiking the Bob Marshall, you can be confident I knowing that ever in need of an emergent or critical care transport, Benefis Mercy Flight will be there for you.
As a hospital-based program starting in 1983, Benefis Mercy Flight is the two-phase CAMTS-accredited (Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems) program for Benefis Health System. Located in Great Falls, Montana, Benefis Mercy Flight provides air medical transports across Montana and extending into the northwest regions of the United States. In addition to being a hospital-based flight program, Mercy Flight transports patients from regional hospitals to Benefis Health System in Great Falls. Mercy Flight provides on-site services to transport patients involved in traumatic accident scenes as well as incidents in isolated area.
All flights for Benefis Mercy Flight are administered by Metro Aviation and Aero Air. Metro Aviation conducts all helicopter transports using the EC135-P2+ (American Euro-Copter). This helicopter has the capability to carry a three-person critical care crew, which is essential during a critical transport where extra hands are needed in flight. Benefis Mercy Flight fixed wing contracts with Aero Air for their services to fly the Cessna Mustang. This aircraft is known for its high safety standards and capability to hold a three-person critical care crew as well as the ability for long distance travel not only in Montana, but to surrounding cities, including Spokane and Seattle, Washington, Denver, Colorado, and Salt Lake City, Utah. These highly trained crews can meet all of the patient’s needs including critical care emergency medicine, high risk obstetrics, and neonatal care.
For over thirty years, Benefis Mercy Flight has provided an extraordinary community service within our regions. With over 900 missions completed in 2013, Mercy Flight implements Benefis Health System’s mission to provide care for all, healing body, mind and spirit by providing compassion, quality and critical care in flight, so others may live.
As a hospital-based program, Benefis Mercy Flight is able to offer numerous services to patients while in flight. These services include
- high-risk obstetric care
- neonatal intensive care
- pediatric care
- trauma response
- regional and inter-facility transportation
Critical Care Crew Capabilities
Benefis Mercy Flight is one of the most preferred air medical transports in Central Montana. Our professionally trained and certified flight staff will provide comfort to our patients while exercising their advanced medical skills in flight. Below is a summary of the various certifications Benefis Mercy Flight has, allowing us to provide advanced care to those in need.
Adult and pediatric critical care services are staffed by Registered Nurses, Paramedics, and, if needed, Registered Respiratory Therapists. All providers carry current certifications in:
- Basic Life Support (BLS),
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
- Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)
Registered Nurses on Mercy Flight are also required to hold certifications in Trauma Nursing Core Course and Emergency Nursing Pediatrics Course. Registered Respiratory Therapists and Paramedic crew members also carry certifications in Sugar, Temperature, Airway, Blood pressure, Lab work, and Emotional support (STABLE).
All providers have extensive experience in emergency and critical care transport and stabilization. These crews are trained in intubation and alternate airway management devices, emergent pneumothorax evacuation, intraosseous infusion initiation, and pertrach placement.
Neonatal/Infant critical care services are staffed by either a Registered Nurse or a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and a Registered Respiratory Therapist. All providers carry current certifications in:
- Basic Life Support
- Neonatal Resuscitation Program
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support
- Sugar, Temperature, Airway, Blood pressure, Lab work, and Emotional support
Neonatal/infant critical crew members also carry a certification in the Emergency Nursing Pediatrics Course. All providers have extensive experience in neonatal intensive care transport and stabilization. These crews are trained in intubation, emergent pneumothorax evacuation, intraosseous infusion initiation, and central line placement.
Perinatal critical care services are staffed by a Registered Nurse and a Paramedic. All providers on these care teams carry current certifications in:
- Basic Life Support
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support
- Neonatal Resuscitation Program
- Sugar, Temperature, Airway, Blood pressure, Lab work, and Emotional support.
All Registered Nurses have a minimum of two years of labor and delivery experience. These crews are trained in antenatal stabilization techniques and emergency childbirth procedures.
Mercy flight will launch upon request from 911 dispatch, local sheriffs/city police departments, and local and regional emergency service providers.
You can access Benefis Mercy Flight by calling emergency dispatch, such as police, fire, or sheriff departments. In the case of a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
If you need to contact Benefis Mercy Flight directly, call the Mercy Flight Communication Center at 1-800-972-4000.
Benefis Mercy Flight is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.