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June 8, 2021 Inspired Stories

ThedaStar Celebrates 35 Years of Life-Saving Care

ThedaCare ThedaStar crew walking towards helicoptor

Emergency Medical Transport Team Improves Outcomes for Critically Ill and Injured Patients

In the case of a medical emergency, response time is everything.

Lucky for northeast and central Wisconsin, we have ThedaStar.

For 35 years, ThedaStar has been partnering with first responders and health care providers across our region to provide emergency medical transport services for critically ill and injured patients. With the ability to travel further faster than an ambulance, the expert air medical team can provide a life-saving difference when transporting a patient from injury scenes or local care centers to the appropriate trauma or specialized care facility.


Applying the same aeromedical approach practiced by the U.S. military, ThedaStar was commissioned to flight in 1986 as part of ThedaCare’s mission to expand access to world-class, critical care.  

“Patients who were being brought in from a great distance away weren’t getting the care they needed in time to be effective,” said Kirk Vandenberg, Manager of ThedaStar. “It was causing patients to die who probably would have lived if they could have gotten to the hospital faster.”

To date, ThedaStar’s team of experienced flight nurses, paramedics, pilots, mechanics and communications specialists has completed more than 15,000 patient transports across our service area, providing a critical link to definitive care and peace of mind for those in need.

In terms of the incredible difference this service has made for our community, ThedaStar Flight Nurse Pam Witt-Hillen says it best.

“When you see ThedaStar in the air, hope is on the way.”

Watch the above video to learn more about our history, and hear from patients whose lives were saved thanks to the quick and efficient response of the ThedaStar team.

ThedaStar’s commitment to safety and excellence ensures every patient will receive compassionate, reliable, quality care during transport to ThedaCare hospitals and care centers. 

emergency medical transport emergency response first responders ThedaStar trauma

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